Important Generator Safety Tips

Have you recently moved to an area that experiences frequent power outages? Are you currently looking for a generator that you can use when the electricity goes out? While generators are a good way to keep your appliances running, it's important to follow proper safety procedures when using one. When getting ready for and setting up your brand new generator, here are some things to keep in mind:

Never use generators in an enclosed space: If you're snowed in or surrounded by flooding, it can be tempting to set up your generator inside your enclosed garage. However, due to the carbon monoxide that generators produce, this can be a dangerous practice. Between 1999 and 2012, at least 800 deaths can be attributed to improper generator usage. For maximum safety, your generator should be placed at least 20 feet away from your main living space and away from as many windows and doors as possible. The doors and windows closest to the generator should be kept shut when it is in operation.

Install carbon monoxide detectors: Even if you think that you have placed your generator a safe distance from your home, this might not be true. If your home is on sloped ground, you may have mistakenly placed the generator uphill from your home. Since carbon monoxide is heavier than air, this could allow the carbon monoxide to travel downhill and enter your home under your doors. By having carbon monoxide alarms installed around your home, you'll be alerted if it starts to build up to dangerous levels. This will allow you to get you and your family out of the home to safety and for you to switch off the generator.

Don't overload your generators: Although most generators have a built-in safety circuit that will shut the generator off if too much is plugged in, you shouldn't depend on this happening. While some generators will safely shut off, others may shut down in a catastrophic manner that renders the generator useless until it's been repaired by a qualified technician. In addition, overloading the generator could cause overheating of your wires, which could lead to an electrical fire. Before buying any generators, make sure that you find out their maximum load. Based off that, you can make plans for what happens when the power goes out. For example, if you get a small generator, it may only be able to power your refrigerator and nothing else. You may then decide to keep your refrigerator plugged in at all times, except for an hour every day when you do laundry.

For more information on generators, contact a company like Childers Enterprises Inc.