Live Updates: Heatwave in the US, record temperatures in the central and eastern US lead to natural disasters

As temperatures rise, so does the risk of power outages. Home generators can help – but they also pose some risks.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission, improper use of a generator can result in dangerous consequences, such as electric shock or death from electrical current, fire, or carbon monoxide poisoning from engine exhaust.

If you don't have electricity and want to use a portable generator, here are some tips for using it safely.

Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors: Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced when fossil fuels – coal, crude oil or natural gas – are burned in furnaces, portable heaters or generators, vehicles, ovens, grills, gas stoves or fireplaces. Depending on the power of a generator, it can emit as much carbon monoxide as a hundred idling cars, according to the Maine Governor's Office.

Inhaling too much carbon monoxide can cause symptoms such as headache, upset stomach, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, chest pain and confusion, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Depending on how much you inhale and your medical condition, you could also pass out or die.

Know where to position them: Generators are intended for outdoor use only, away from physical structures. National Weather Service said you should place a generator at least 20 feet away from doors, windows and vents and never run it inside a house or garage, even if doors and windows are open.

Pay attention to your fuel: If you must store fuel, consider how much you can store and for how long, since gasoline or diesel stored for more than a month may need additional chemicals added to keep it usable. Store fuel in containers approved by the American National Standards Institute or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place, away from all possible heat sources.