As a homeowner, you experience power outages once in awhile, and in times like these, generators prove to come in handy. Are you, however, conversant on how to safely use it, ensuring your home safety? Are there ways by which you can safeguard yourself while at the same time ensure that your generator serves you for a good number of years? Well here are some basic tips to safely use your generator.
The National Safety Council (NSC), advises that it is always wise to read and understand the manual that comes with every purchase of machinery including generators. Did you happen to lost or misplaced your manual? Not to worry, most manufacturers allow customers to contact them for a replacement of the manual or offer guidance on using the generator.
As a result of generators converting mechanical energy to electric energy, they end up emitting carbon monoxide (CO) gas. This gas is odorless and colorless and known to many of us as a silent killer’ since high amounts of it can result in death. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), for home safety reasons such as avoiding buildup of the gas that can get in through vents or open windows, generators should be used at a safe distance from our houses or garages.
Gasoline is used to power up most portable generators, and therefore you should be keen to store it away cautiously from the generator. In addition to this, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) cautions that before refueling, you should turn it off and allow it to cool. As for a generator that hasn’t been switched on for 30 or more days, there is a need to add a fuel stabilizer to the tank, says NSC.
To avoid the risk of being electrocuted, simply avoid running your generator on wet ground or wet surroundings. The power surges that generators radiate at times are very powerful; it would be paramount to protect it from exposure to snow, rain or any form of wetness. This will not only protect you and ensure your home safety but also that of the generator itself from malfunction.
According to the Consumer Energy Center, plugging your generator directly to an outlet at home or the garage is a no-no. A risk may be posed to a utility company worker who may come trying to fix a downed power line as a result of the “back feed” power caused through direct plugging, CPSC states.
The bottom line is that your home and that of your family comes first when operating a generator. The fact that generators help you out during power shortages means that great care for them should be a priority to you as the user. To protect the generator as well as ensure your home safety, always remember these tips when you are about to use your generator or even put it away for storage.