Marblehead fire chief cautions about generators

Ed Bell
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Fire Chief Jason Gilliland had some words of caution for the Marblehead Harbor Rotarians last week about the use of home generators.

“We are facing the cold winter months,” he said, “and with current conditions there could be a shortage of electricity.” He predicted that could lead to more residents buying their own generators.

“It’s one thing to buy a generator from a reputable company, have it installed and inspected,” he said. “It’s another to go to a big box store, bring home a generator and install it yourself.” Gilliland stressed that such installations should be inspected by the town for the safety of the homeowner and family.

He warned that homeowners should never place a portable generator in or near the home citing the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Gilliland was asked about solar power. He said that while he is not opposed to the use of solar power in town, homeowners must switch it off in the event of a fire. “Someone could get electrocuted” if people are not careful.

He also said firefighters must vent the fire by breaking windows instead of through the roof.

The chief said Marblehead is a safety-conscious town.

“Our fire trucks are fully licensed ambulances,” he said. “We have defibrillators in every public building.” He also said a number of local groups have taken CPR training.

Gilliland said he would like his department to take over ambulance service in the town, but that will require lots ofconversations.

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