With winter weather on its way and the potential for power outages at a higher level, many individuals are purchasing generators and preparing to use them, if need be. Generators are extremely helpful pieces of equipment to have on hand as they ensure you continue to have light, warmth, and other comforts of home when the power goes out. But, did you know that generators can also prove hazardous if you don’t operate them correctly? Carbon monoxide poisoning is a common concern with generators that are used improperly among other safety issues.
In order to ensure that you safely operate your generator, Electrical Connections would like to provide some helpful tips to keep in mind as you stay warm and comfortable this holiday season:
- Read the instructions: If this is your first time using your generator, make sure you read the instructions thoroughly. This will ensure that you use the generator correctly and safely.
- Buy a generator that produces a high amount of amps: If you’re choosing your generator and unsure as to which one to pick, select one that offers more amps than you’ll need to operate the appliances and systems in your home.
- Prevent overloads: Stagger appliance and system usage so the generator doesn’t overload.
- Plug your appliances into the generator: Make sure that appliances are plugged directly into the generator. This can be done by using the proper outdoor extension cord that is able to handle the total amount of connected loads.
- Do not use your generator in any type of enclosed or partially enclosed area: One of the biggest (and deadliest) mistakes an individual can make when using a generator is to use it in an enclosed or even partially enclosed area. Doing so can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning which can cause death. The generator must be operated outdoors and be at least 15 feet away from windows, doors, vents, or any other openings of the home.
- Do not run your generator unless a transfer switch is installed: Always have a transfer switch installed in the generator or else you run the risk of injury or death to neighbors and utility workers because it could cause a back feed in the electrical current. It could also cause risk to those in the home.
- Do not operate your generator when it’s wet: Never use your generator in the rain or if you are standing in water or have wet hands. Doing so could result in injury or death.
- Do not refuel a hot generator: Never refuel your generator when it’s hot because doing so could cause a fire.
Generators are excellent backup equipment pieces to have in case bad weather occurs during the holidays. Just be sure you know how to safely operate your generator before doing so to ensure that the holiday season is a safe one.