Comprehensive Safety Guide in Using Portable Generators

 

Portable generators may be handy tools and effective backup system during power outage but there are drawbacks to these machines like any others do. However, with portable generators the hazards could be life threatening. Read on to learn the hazards of portable generators and some essential safety measures to prevent these dangers.

It is undeniable that each year, many accidents are attributed to portable generators from electrocution to poisoning. Preventing these accidents have been a long standing endeavor of manufacturers, retailers and concerned agencies, and information to increase awareness of these hazards are disseminated all over in both online and offline information channels so that everyone will know what are the dangers that entail in using portable generators and how to prevent fatalities to happen.

Safety tips in Using Portable Generators

Here are some safety tips to help out individuals, homeowners and all portable generator owners and users in keeping people and properties safe from harm when the generator is up and running.

Many people make the mistake of disregarding Owner’s Manual that is included in almost all purchases they make. Manuals contain vital information regarding the item that is bought and taking time to read these helps a lot in keeping oneself and the people around safe and unharmed. This is very true in the case of portable generators. The owner’s manual for portable generators include safety tips and other significant information to keep harm at bay. Read it first before reading this post.

The tips provided herein are just supplemental to the safety tips you can find in your manual. However, it is always better to seek many resources when it comes to vital information. Hopefully, this post can help you in keeping the people you love and the properties you value safe and unharmed.

Electrical Hazards

Always remember that a generator directly connected to your home’s wiring system can “back feed” and is extremely deadly to you and the others. Many people mistake the function and system of a portable generator to a standby generator which is directly connected to the building’s electrical system using a transfer switch to automatically transfer power to the main electrical system.

This is not the case with portable generators generally. Avoid connecting your portable generator to the outlet or to any wiring in your home or establishment. Overloading your generator is a serious mistake and should be totally avoided. That is why you are advised to calculate your necessary wattage and give some allowance before buying a portable generator. NEVER operate more appliances than your portable generator can accommodate because this might cause your unit to explode along with all the appliances attached to it.

A heavy duty out-rated cord with a wire gauge should be used to plug individual appliances and devices. Always remember than overloaded cords cause fire and damage to your equipment. Extension wires with worn shielding and exposed or open wire should never be used.

Operating the generator under wet conditions is extremely dangerous since water conducts electricity and catches up current strongly. When the generator is not properly grounded, you are exposed to the risk of electrocution.

Fuel Safety

Fuel or gasoline specifically is a flammable element and extremely explosive. Fire eats up properties in minutes and is one of the leading hazards today. Your portable generator if not well taken care of and proper precaution is not met, can cause damage beyond your expectation. So, never doubt the hazards of your relatively small power backup system.

To prevent accidents, you must not overfill the fuel tank because fuel tends to overflow onto the hot engine igniting flame instantly. Secondly, never refuel when the generator is running or is still hot. Let it cool down first and turn off the engine before refueling. Keep your generator away from areas where the risk is high that it might catch fire, spark or light. NEVER smoke near the generator especially if fuel is in the tank. After using or while the generator is running, normally its surface is extremely hot so avoid coming into contact with a hot generator to prevent skin burn.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

When portable generator is running, it emits odorless and tasteless smoke that is more deadly than most. This element is called Carbon Monoxide and it can kill you after excessive exposure and inhalation. NEVER run your generator indoors or in the basement or in any enclosed areas in the house. This will confine the smoke within the room and the longer it stays there the more harm it causes to people who inhale the gas. Adequate ventilation is extremely advised and the outdoors is the best place to put your portable generator. Also never put it outside near the windows, doors, vents and crawl spaces where the gas can still penetrate the house. A battery operated Carbon Monoxide alarm or detector should be installed precisely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Proper Placement, Operation and Storage

Children are always a curious and restless lot so better keep them away to avoid unwarranted accidents to happen. Five feet clearance on all side is recommended when operating the unit. Excessive moisture, dust, dirt and corrosive element s can harm your portable generator so keep your unit from these elements as far as possible. Regular inspection and maintenance will help make your generator last longer. The spark plug should always be disconnected from the wire and place the wire safely to prevent sparking up accidentally. Accidental star ups of generators usually happen transporting, repairing and adjusting generator parts.

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