Major storms and hurricanes can cause widespread blackouts – even in areas not directly affected by the storm itself! In response, many homeowners invest in a portable generator to temporarily power critical appliances during a power outage. Here, we cover a few safety tips to keep in mind when using a portable generator.
Generator Safety Tips
During a storm or hurricane, a backup generator can help power critical appliances, such as air conditioning and refrigerators in your home. Portable generators are safe when used correctly and when kept in good working order. To avoid the risk of dangerous carbon monoxide build up, follow these simple tips.
Buy the Right Size Generator for Your Home
Different sized generators are suitable for different sized homes. This also depends on how many electrical appliances you will be powering. Ask an electrician if your are unsure which size is suitable for you.
Use in a Dry, Well-Ventilated Area
Generators produce carbon monoxide, which can be dangerous in if allowed to build up in enclosed spaces. While some newer generators have built-in sensors to help mitigate against dangerous carbon monoxide levels, it is still recommended to run your generator in a well-ventilated space.
Allow at least 20 Feet of Distance
Place the generator at least 20 feet from your home and make sure that the exhaust is pointed away from doors and windows. This helps minimize exposure to exhaust gases.
Never Use Your Generator to “Backfeed”
Do not attempt to power your home by plugging the generator directly into a wall outlet. Backfeeding may pose a serious risk to utility workers and linemen and could overload your appliances. Be sure to use an approved manual or automated transfer switch that can isolate the power to your home.
Learn more about how to protect your home in the event of a hurricane in your article Protect Your Home Against Water Damage. If you are looking for more comprehensive protection, visit Flood Disaster Preparedness.