Portable Generator Safety Tips
Last updated August, 2019
It is important to ensure that you maintain and are aware of the safety tips necessary to use a portable generator. These might be portable by design but they are at the end of the day, engines on full throttle firing away every second to provide constant power. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a portable generator causing loss of life, property, and damage to the generator too. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when using a portable generator.
Using your Portable Generator Safely
DO read the owner manual when you get the generator home and read it patiently to ensure you do not miss out on any important information.
DO protect the generator from direct exposure to sun, rain or snow.
DO have an approved cut-off switch that will disconnect the generator when the power returns.
DO make sure that the generator is grounded properly to avoid any electrical shocks or short circuits.
Family Safety Tips
DO ensure that you tell and teach your children to maintain their distance from the generator when it is operational and even otherwise.
DO have security and safety alarms installed, they can save lives in case of poisoning.
DO undergo some kind of safety training to know what to do in case of an emergency when you need to manage the generator.
DO NOT use the generator in an enclosed space as the exhaust contains carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that can kill in seconds, so it is important to ensure that exhausts are not released into the house, air vents or within the garage.
DO NOT use any enclosed like garages or basements to use the generator and operate it, even if there are fans and windows to help in ventilation.
Fueling And Storing Tips
DO NOT store any kind of flammable, combustible or hazardous item near the generator, especially when it is in operation. Generators use high speed moving components, burn gasoline and run hot, they can produce sparks too.
DO NOT overfill the generator’s fuel tank, as it can spill out and ignite. Always leave some space for fuel expansion.
DO NOT add or try to add fuel to the generator when it is running. Either fuel up the tank prior to use or wait for the generator to cool down and then refuel it.
DO NOT smoke or use fire anywhere near the vicinity of the generator, while in use or otherwise. Avoid touching the generator when it is in use, it can be really hot.
DO NOT immediately move a generator right after it is stopped. Wait a few minutes and let it cool down first.
Electrical Connection And Safe Use Of The Generator
DO NOT connect the generator in any way to the house’s wiring system or electrical system. It can “back feed” into the power lines causing the voltage to increase by many thousand volts, deadly enough to fry circuits, burn appliances and surge lights and other connected items.
DO NOT overuse or overload the generator while in use and use it within its permissible wattage limit at all times.
DO NOT connect appliances directly to the generator. Use proper, well rated and quality approved wires and cords for all connections.
Besides the above tips, ensure that you keep kids away from the generator and especially when in operation. Ensure that there is ample space around the generator to allow for some air, space, and movement. Keep the generator in a covered space to avoid exposure to extreme temperatures that could result in rusting and additional wear and tear or even cause electrical sparks or circuits to snap. Some portable generators vibrate due to the heavy electrical motors at work and the vibration causes them to shift place. Ensure that portables generators are firmly grounded to the spot to avoid any movements, no matter how small.
Last Word, Prevention
Above all, ensure that you regularly get your generator checked at an authorized service center. You might think that all these Do’s and Don’ts aren’t really going to make much of a difference but you’ll be astonished if I told you every single portable generator-related accident was the result of poor care or lack of safety precautions. Hence, always remember prevention is better than cure and keep all important contacts like the local technician and fire brigade on speed dial to reach them in case of emergencies.