Portable Generators: Getting Power Safely in an Emergency
Automatic, whole-house generators typically require no action from the user to run correctly, but smaller, portable generators are a different story. During times of extreme emergency, like during a hurricane, people who may have never used a generator before suddenly find themselves attempting to operate one.
Yes, generators are invaluable during power outages and emergencies, but they can also be incredibly dangerous and even deadly if used improperly. No one should ever attempt to run a portable generator without first reading the operating instructions.
Some safety rules for portable generators can never be emphasized enough, so here are some rules that bear repeating:
- READ ALL OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS.
- A portable generator contains an internal combustion engine and MUST BE OPERATED OUTSIDE OF THE HOME. DO NOT OPERATE A PORTABLE GENERATOR IN A GARAGE, BASEMENT, OR ANY OTHER INTERIOR AREA OF A HOME. DOING SO CAN CAUSE DEATH. ATTEMPTING TO VENT A PORTABLE GENERATOR INSIDE YOUR HOME CAN ALSO CAUSE DEATH. Internal combustion engines produce carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if concentrated in an enclosed space. OPERATING PORTABLE GENERATORS INDOORS CAN ALSO LEAD TO FIRES.
- PORTABLE GENERATORS MUST BE KEPT OUTSIDE, such as on a deck, porch, or patio or under an umbrella. When choosing an outdoor location for your portable generator, make sure to POSITION IT ABOVE THE WATER OR FLOODING LINE and run the extension cord into the house.
- Use the power strip that comes with your portable generator. DO NOT ADD MORE POWER STRIPS, or you will create more demand than your generator can handle. Adding power strips can also feed power back into the power grid and risk injury to someone working on the line.
- If you need more power than your generator can produce at one time, TAKE TURNS PLUGGING IN DEVICES OR APPLIANCES LIKE YOUR REFRIGERATOR so you don’t exceed your power limit. Your refrigerator can keep foods cold without getting constant power.
To learn more about generators, visit https://hbmcclure.com/residential-back-generators.