Tips for staying safe when using a portable generator
The Nor'easter that hit the eastern part of the United States caused widespread power outages and millions of dollars of damage. Portable generator misuse is common in such intense conditions, and that can endanger users. Generac Power Systems, a leading manufacturer of home standby and portable generators, reminds everyone to be safe during the storm.
"There is no way to control the weather, but it is possible to control the best way to stay safe," said Art Aiello, Generac spokesperson. Here are critical safety tips when using portable generators: Safety tips when using back-up power: - Generators must be run outdoors, far from home entrances
- A portable generator gives off carbon monoxide, which is odorless, colorless and deadly. It should be operated outside far away from windows, vents and doors so that fumes do not enter the residence. The generator also needs to be in a dry area, protected from exposure to rain and snow. Garages, basements, crawlspaces or sheds are considered extremely unsafe areas to run a portable generator. The Portable
- Generator Manufacturers' Association, of which Generac is a charter member, offers many tips about how to operate a portable generator safely at www.takeyourgeneratoroutside.com.
- Avoid fire hazards
- Be aware of the manufacturer's rating on the electric load of your generator and be sure not to overload it.
- Turn appliances on one at a time. Remember that the greater the load on a generator, the more fuel it will use. Before refueling, turn the generator off and let it cool down. It may be uncomfortable dealing without power temporarily, but fuel spilled on hot engine parts can ignite.
- Beware of electrical hazards
- Ensure that extension cords are grounded, in good repair and of the appropriate gauge size. Coiled cords can get hot, so lay them out in flat, open locations that will not cause a tripping hazard in dim lighting. When the storm has passed, homeowners should consider a home standby generator, which is the most complete backup power solution. These generators are permanently installed and can provide power to the whole home automatically, within seconds of an outage. For more information on emergency power solutions that are the best fit for you, contact your independent authorized Generac dealer today. Find one near you by visiting Generac.com/dealer-locator.