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How to Stay Safe While Using Your Generator

Before operating a generator there are many things you should know. These machines do not mess around; they are powerful and can cause serious damage. Here are some generator safety tips to follow to keep you and others free from danger.

Generators should never run indoors or in enclosed spaces. Injuries and deaths related to generators are mostly due to carbon monoxide poisoning caused by generators being used in areas that are not well ventilated. Opening doors and windows is not sufficient enough to prevent the buildup of the potentially fatal poison. These machines should always run outside, and be placed at a minimum of fifteen feet away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to enter your home.  If you find yourself feeling sick, weak, or dizzy, when operating a generator, seek fresh air at once. Since it cannot be seen or smelled, having a carbon monoxide detector can give you peace of mind that the harmful toxin is not in your home.

You should never refuel the generator while it is running. You should turn the machine off, and give it ample time to cool off before adding more fuel. A fire can occur as the result of spilling fuel on the hot surface. Letting the engine cool before refueling also reduces the chances of being burned during the process.

Generators should never operate in wet conditions. This includes when it is raining. However, with proper covering and venting, it can be safe for use during precipitation. The manufacturer will have recommendations for how to properly operate the generator under tents specifically designed for your model. If you are standing in water or have wet hands, you should not work with your generator as well.

Another generator safety tip is to not attempt to backfeed your home. This happens when the generator is plugged directly into a wall outlet. This is an extremely dangerous thing to do, and creates the threat of electrocution for utility workers and neighbors relying on the same utility transformer. There is also an increased risk of excess current and electrical fire for your appliances and electronics. Instead you should install a transfer switch before running a generator. This allows the machine to connect to your circuit panel and power hardwired appliances without the safety risk of using extension cords.

In preparation for using the generator, you may want to keep extra fuel at your home. It is important for fuel to be properly stored and only use approved containers. Keep the fuel away from living areas, and combustion appliances. Your local fire department can provide suggestions on appropriate storage locations if you are unsure.

Rose Brothers & Sons Electric can help with all your electrical needs ranging from residential to commercial to industrial. We take pride in providing excellent customer service which is reflected in our numerous positive reviews on Angie’s List. We offer emergency service at all hours of the day, so you can count on us to always be there for you. We are located in Walton, KY, and serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today.

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