Bad weather can lead to power failure. Fortunately, you can weather the storm (and what comes after) with a few generator safety tips.
Overlooking basic safety is expected when you become preoccupied with trying to get everything up and running during an emergency. But it’s important to protect yourself and your family. Operating your emergency generator can result in death in as little as 5 minutes, if you’re not careful. The culprit – carbon monoxide.
Generator safety dos and don’ts
Generators aren’t difficult to use, but they do require some attention.
When operating your generator, DO:
- Choose a model that provides more amps than you’ll end up needing
- Read through the instruction manual
- Plug appliances directly into your generator
- Stagger appliance operation (to prevent overloads)
- Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors have full batteries and are up and running to warn you of any danger. The biggest hazard of generator operation is carbon monoxide poisoning.
When operating your generator, DO NOT:
- Use your generator indoors or in enclosed/partially enclosed areas. Keep your generator at least 15 feet away from your home. If you feel sick, dizzy, or weak while your generator is operating, get fresh air immediately.
- Run your generator without installing a transfer switch. Plugging your generator into a wall outlet without a transfer switch can cause a back feed in electrical current that can be deadly for area utility workers and neighbors.
- Refuel when your generator is hot. Turn your generator off, give it time to cool off, then begin refueling. Spilling fuel on a hot generator could potentially start a fire.
- Operate when wet. Never operate your generator when it’s raining or when you’re standing in water.
Remember: safety first!
Keep you and your family safe by practicing proper generator safety. For more information, contact an electrical expert like A-Abel to learn how to operate your generator correctly.