Take Care When Using A Generator

A generator can be a priceless tool in restoring a sense of normalcy after a storm.  However, it is important to take care of the equipment in the off-season and to take proper precautions when in use.

The most important element of using a generator is proper operation.  Running a portable generator can produce increased levels of carbon monoxide. This can cause significant health problems and result in unnecessary death.  Electrical shock and electrocution along with fire are all potential dangers when using a generator. It is vital that care is given when operating this machinery.

Here are a few tips suggested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to operate a portable generator safely.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and maintenance.
  • Never use a generator in an enclosed space or indoors as they need to be used in a well-ventilated area.
  • Do not plug a generator into a wall outlet as this can cause back-feed (sending electrical charge in the reverse direction from its normal path).
  • Do not run the generator in the rain as the equipment is not meant to get wet.
  • Turn off the generator and let it cool before refueling as gas can ignite on the hot surface.
  • It is always best to plug appliances into the generator directly. If using an extension cord, be sure to use a heavy-duty outdoor-use cord that is properly rated for the generator.
  • Store fuel outside in an appropriate non-glass container away from other fuel-burning appliances.
  • Make sure all smoke detectors are working properly. Establish and practice an escape plan.

There are numerous websites that offer overall safety tips after a storm. Below are a few sites to reference.