How to use your portable generator safely
When bad weather creates lengthy power outages, a portable generator can save the day. But if used incorrectly, it can be life-threatening. Here are seven tips to help you safely use your generator:
- Never use a generator indoors, period. Carbon monoxide (CO) can build up rapidly, becoming deadly in no time. Just one generator can produce the CO equal to 100 cars. Opening windows and doors and using fans does NOT prevent CO buildup.
- Place your generator outside, at least 15 feet away from doors, windows, and vents that could funnel CO indoors.Point the exhaust away from your house.
- Install CO alarms throughout your home or building. Remember, CO is odorless and invisible. Exposure to CO can lead to nausea, dizziness, weakness, confusion, even death.
- Keep your generator dry and protected from the elements to avoid electric shock. An open canopy-type structure may work best.
- Have a transfer switch installed by a professional. This device lets you connect your generator to the circuits in your electrical panel that you want to power during an outage. A transfer eliminates the need for unwieldy extension cords. It also reduces the risk of fire and protects your generator.
- Never refuel a generator while it’s running. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts may ignite.
- Do not store fuel in your home or building. Instead, use safe, properly labeled non-glass containers, stored at a good distance from all heat sources.
If you or a loved one is harmed or killed by the improper use of a power generator, talk with an experienced injury attorneys at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys right away. Call (804) 413-6777.
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