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Portable Generator Safety Tips

In an emergency situation a portable generator can help provide valuable electricity for emergency situations. The generator can be used to power heating systems, water pumps, refrigerators, lights, and medical equipment.

While there are many benefits to using an emergency generator there are some risks and dangers that are associated with it. 

These are some important safety tips and precautions that should be taken when using a portable generator. 

Use ONLY in Open Areas

Portable generators should never be used inside a home, garage, or another space that is enclosed. The reason for this is that they emit carbon monoxide which can be poisonous. If these fumes are indoors they can build up and cause a serious threat to your respiratory system.

Even with open windows, the carbon monoxide will still build up too quickly to be rushed away by the fresh air.

The carbon monoxide is an invisible gas so you won’t realize there is a problem until it is too late.

The portable generator should hence only be used outdoors away from windows and doorways.

It is also not a bad idea to use a portable battery-powered carbon monoxide detector in the place you plan to store the unit for most of the time.

Let It Cool Down Regularly

Gasoline, as well as the vapors, are highly flammable.

Before refilling the generator allow it to cool down for at least two minutes.

If the portable generator is not going to be used for at least 30 days, add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank.

Read All Instructions Before Use

This may sound like common sense but there are many people that do not read the manufacturer’s instructions before using their portable generator. Reading the instructions will tell you how to use the generator properly and give some specific tips on safe use.

Shut it Off

If you feel weak, sick, or dizzy when around the generator, shut it off immediately.

If symptoms do not fade away, seek medical attention. This may be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning and should be treated with the utmost care.

Maintenance

In order to keep the portable generator working properly, regular maintenance is important.

When the machine is not in use it should be stored in a safe area.

You should have it serviced regularly to make sure all the parts are working correctly.

Watch the Power Cord

Be aware of the placement of the power cord.

The power cords should not run along the path that people are going to walk since they can be a tripping hazard.

Not only can someone get hurt if the cord is pulled but it can also damage the unit and the outlet.

Cover the cords with cable covers.

Do not overload the outlets. This may trigger a serious fire risk.

Use in Dry Areas

Do not use a portable generator near a body of water. If the water becomes exposed to the electricity it can cause a shock. The water can also damage the generator.

Keep the Generator Clean

When using the generator keep it as clean as possible.

Keep the area that is surrounding the generator clean too.

Remove all snow, grease, and other materials from around the generator.

Rags should also be removed from the area around the generator because those are more prone to catch fire.

If gas or oil is spilled when refilling the generator, clean any stains with a cloth.

Use Air Protection

Portable generators are very noisy and the noise that they produce is very loud. When working near a generator be sure to wear proper hearing protection.

This protection includes earplugs, noise-canceling headphones, and other equipment that can be used to protect the ears.

These are some safety tips when using a portable generator. The generator can help you have electric power in case of an emergency. As long as they are used in a safe manner the generator is a good source of temporary power.

My name's Craig, I am a general contractor currently living in Dallas, TX. I've worked with different kinds of electric tools throughout my career, including the portable generators. In my spare time, I love going camping and tailgating with my family and friends. I've created this site to provide honest advice for people looking for the right portable generator and other related equipment for work and leisure.

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Generator Advisor