Back-Up Generator Safety 101
If you live in an area that experiences frequent power outages, or are the kind of person who prefers to prepare for the worst, you likely have a backup generator. Backup generators can come in handy when you lose power and help you preserve food as well as keep your home livable in the case of a disaster. However, if you do not know the proper safety precautions, you could be making a bad situation more dangerous.
You likely already know that your generator should not be indoors. But you should also make sure that your generator is clear of any openings that would allow carbon monoxide to enter your home. Windows and doors must be sealed tight if the generator is near them.
Give it Some Space
Don’t crowd other objects around your generator-make sure the space around the generator is free and clear of other objects, as well as people.
Be on the alert for dizziness or feeling lightheaded while the generator is running. Should you or anyone else experience these symptoms, you will need to get fresh air immediately to avoid suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. You should also keep a carbon monoxide detector on hand as carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless.
Ground the Generator
Your generator should have come with specific instructions for this process. Follow them. Make sure your generator is properly grounded at all times.
Watch Out for Moisture
A wet generator is likely to short out or worse, catch fire. Make sure that your generator is kept dry at all times. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand just in case.
Do Not Attempt Repairs
Trying to repair your generator without proper training is dangerous and can lead to serious injury, including electric shock and electrocution.
Do not plug your generator into a wall outlet. This can be dangerous for you, as well as the people working outside on the utility lines trying to restore your power. Some states hold you responsible for the results should you back-feed your generator.
Avoid Touching It
The generator may not look like it, but it is likely hot. Avoid touching the generator unless you have protective gear and remain cautious.