Before you consider buying or renting a portable backup generator, it is important that you consider a few backup generator safety tips to ensure you choose the best option for your home and need. Every year people purchase backup generators for times when the power is out. Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe:
Choosing a Portable Backup Generator
There are a few good models when it comes to purchasing or renting a generator. Make sure you look at the size of your generator and make sure it can handle the wattage you will need to turn on all the lights and appliances you have to use. You can get the amount of power you need by looking at labels on the appliances you plan to operate. If you are operating lights, the wattage is the number. Your generator should be rated for amount larger than your overall need. You also need to accommodate a surge of power when the generator kicks on. An electrician can help you determine the size generator you need. If you are using a generator for more than just emergency needs, your electrician may recommend a more permanent set up to power your house.
Portable Generator Hazards
A gas powered generator is a safety hazard if you don’t use caution when operating it. The toxic exhaust can cause carbon monoxide poisoning or death. There is a hazard of electrocution or electric shock and because many portable generators are gas or diesel fueled, there is always a fire hazard. You should read over the generator safety tips carefully before using a backup generator.
Backup Generator Safety tips
- Never operate a generator in a closed in area. Opening windows and doors will not make it safe for indoor use. Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous and can quickly overcome you. Never operate a generator in a garage, basement, crawlspace or other area that is enclosed. If you have it near an open door or window CO can come inside. The only way to detect CO in the air is to have a carbon monoxide detector that will sound an alarm when levels are too high. If you begin to feel dizzy or lightheaded, you should get fresh air immediately.
- Keep the generator on dry, even ground. Don’t operate next to water or in the rain. Make sure your hands are dry when you touch the generator.
- Cool the generator down 2 minutes before adding fuel. This will make sure it doesn’t ignite.
- Never use the generator around combustible items.
- If you use extension cords make sure they are properly rated for outdoor use and are in good condition. A three prong plug is important.
- Never attempt to power your entire house by plugging directly into an outlet. This “backfeeding” can cause electrocution miles away. If you need to power your entire house, your electrician can install a power transfer switch which will do the job safely.
If you have questions about using a backup generator or generator safety, your electricians at Rose Brothers and Sons Electric can help. We proudly serve Northern Kentucky, Greater Cincinnati and the Southern Indiana area.