If you’re lucky, you rarely have to rely on a generator, but because we use them infrequently, it’s easy to overlook basic safety measures. Here’s a few tips from the National Safety Council:
- Never run a generator inside your house or other enclosed space. Misuse can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can happen in as little as 5 minutes, and can be deadly.
- Always place the generator at least 15 feet away from the house and away from doors and windows.
- If you are using a generator, make sure you have a battery operated carbon monoxide detector as well.
- Avoid electrical hazards. It’s best to plug appliances directly to the generator. If you must use an extension cord, it should be a heavy-duty one for outdoor use and rated at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads.
- If possible, install a transfer switch connecting the generator to your circuit panel.
- Do not attempt to backfeed your house by trying to power your home’s wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet.
- Do not run a portable generator in the rain unless it’s covered and vented.
- Before refueling, turn off a gasoline power generator and let it cool. If gas spills on a hot engine can ignite.
- Make sure extra gasoline is stored properly in a ANSI-approved container in a cool, ventilated area.