Using a Generator during a Power Outage

December 24, 2014 at 9:00 AM | Posted in Home, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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During a power outage, many people rely on generators as a backup power source. One of the safest recommendations is to have a licensed electrician install a permanent, stationary generator.  For those choosing to use a portable generator, it is also recommended to use a licensed electrician, who can install a power transfer switch. Below are some safety tips to keep in mind when using a generator for your home:

  • Don’t overload your generator – determine the amount of power you will need to operate the equipment that you will connect to the generator. If you can’t determine this, ask a licensed electrician. If your equipment draws more power than the generator can produce, you may blow a fuse on the generator or damage the connected equipment.
  • To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry. Operate it on a dry surface under a canopy-like structure. Make sure your hands are dry before touching the generator.
  • To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, never use a portable generator in an enclosed area, even if it has ventilation. Generators should be at least 15 feet away from buildings, and placed away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide
    to come indoors.
  • To avoid electrocution of utility workers or neighbors served by the same utility transformer, never plug a generator into a wall outlet. Rather, plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cord.

Generators can be a great resource in the event of a power outage but, as with most things, properly educating yourself about how to safely use your generator will ensure its effectiveness and the safety of yourself and your home. Contact your local electrician for questions about equipment and/or installation!

 

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