Generator Safety – Essential Tips to Keep You and Your Family Protected
Generator safety is important for any home. With power outages caused by storms, extreme weather, and other disasters, keeping a generator on hand can mean the difference between comfort and chaos. But it’s essential that you use your generator safely and know how to protect yourself and your family from any potential hazards. Here are some key tips to keep in mind when using a generator.
1. Have Adequate Ventilation
A generator needs air to operate properly, so make sure there is plenty of ventilation around you at all times. This will ensure that no dangerous gases, such as carbon monoxide, build up inside your home or garage where the generator is located. Also, be sure to place the unit far away from windows and doors in order to prevent fumes from entering your home.
2. Use Extension Cords Wisely
When connecting equipment to a generator, always use an extension cord suitable for outdoor use and labelled ‘W-A’ or ‘W’ for watts. Be aware of the total power consumption of all connected appliances; if it exceeds the capacity of your generator, reduce the load or increase the size of the generator accordingly. Also, never plug an extension cord into another extension cord as this may cause an overload.
3. Never operate indoors
Operating a generator indoors can cause lethal levels of carbon monoxide poisoning within minutes due to lack of ventilation – even with windows open! Make sure you only run it in well-ventilated areas outdoors, such as a driveway or patio area, away from windows and doors where exhaust fumes can’t enter living areas if it is to be run continuously for long periods.
4. Install carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can happen quickly and most people don’t realise they’ve been affected until it’s too late. To reduce the risk of CO poisoning, have battery-operated CO detectors installed throughout your home that will sound an alarm if levels become dangerously high while the generator is running outdoors or during a power outage.
5. Store fuel safely
Fuel should be stored in approved containers designed for fuel storage only; never store flammable liquids near heat sources such as water heaters or stoves as these are major fire hazards. And when refuelling outdoors, always turn off the engine before adding more fuel, as petrol fumes are highly flammable when exposed to sparks or flames.
6. Think ahead for emergencies
With any natural disaster comes the potential for power outages, so plan ahead by stocking up on supplies such as non-perishable food, bottled water, flashlights with extra batteries, etc., just in case you need them while running your backup system here. Also make sure you have an emergency kit containing first aid supplies such as bandages/gauze pads/antiseptic wipes/bandages etc. as well as telephone numbers for local emergency services should they be needed here.
7. Test your generating set regularly
It’s a good idea to test your backup system once a month under simulated conditions similar to those that would occur during a real outage; this way you’ll know that everything is working properly before you rely on it in an emergency. If there are any problems with performance, contact a qualified service engineer immediately for assistance, rather than attempting to make repairs yourself as this could be a safety hazard if done incorrectly!
8. Keep away from children and pets
Never allow children or pets to play around generating sets as they can be injured by moving parts such as fans and engine components, and gas fumes can be harmful to their health if they are in the vicinity for long periods of time. Always keep fuel out of the reach of children/pets in locked cupboards etc., and never leave young children alone when the unit is running outdoors, even if the switch is off, as they may accidentally start the unit due to improper handling!
Generator safety doesn’t have to be complicated, but following these essential tips will go a long way towards protecting you and your family in the event of an unexpected power cut!