Home » Portable Generator Safety!

Portable Generator Safety!

By: Jim Simmons, Owner, Mr. Electric

Portable generators are very useful in the event of a power outage. They can keep your freezer and refrigerator on and run a portable heater to help keep you warm, but using them improperly can burn your home down, or even cause death. Please follow the guidelines below for safe use.

Don’t connect the generator directly to your home’s wiring. Have a qualified electrician connect the generator with a transfer switch so that it is not connected directly to your home wiring. If not installed properly, generators can feed electricity back into power lines that are connected to your home, and pose a deadly situation for electric utility workers in the area.

Use the proper power cords. Only use heavy-duty, outdoor-rated power cords with an adequate wire gauge. Overloaded cords can cause fires or equipment damage. Never use damaged or worn extension cords. Make sure the cords from the generator don’t present a tripping hazard and protect the cords from getting pinched or crushed if they pass through a window or doorway.

Don’t overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the generator can handle, as overloading your generator can seriously damage your appliances and electronics. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment.

Never run a generator indoors or in an attached garage. Also, never use a generator in basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even when they are ventilated. Locate the unit outside far from doors, windows, and vents that could allow the carbon monoxide emitted by a generator to come indoors. Carbon monoxide can be deadly.

Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting down your generator.

Keep children and pets away from electric generators at all times, because they can be hurt.

Prevent electrical shock — make sure your cord is properly grounded and wired.

Always remember to turn off the generator while you sleep and when you are away from home to avoid a possible fire hazard.

Read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation. Also, follow state, local, and national fire and electric codes.

To find out how we can help keep you safe and warm this winter, give us a call at 360.705.4225. 