Handling Portable Generators Safely
Portable generators are literally lifesavers in an emergency situation. However, these same generators can be hazardous if not treated properly when in use. The main things to be aware of when using a portable generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire hazards from fuels.
Be aware the exhaust of a fossil fuel operated portable generator produces high levels of carbon monoxide. Always use in a well ventilated area, the main danger lays in the fact that CO is odorless. Even if you can’t smell they fumes they are present and may expose you to CO poisoning. If you feel dizzy or light headed get to fresh air immediately.
To lessen the likelihood of electrical hazards when using a portable generator follow these easy steps, keep the generator dry, plug the appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated at least equal to the sum of the connection appliance loads. Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet a practice known as “back feeding”.
Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running. Be sure to always store fuels in proper approved containers away from the running generator. Do not smoke or have an open flame near the generator while refueling. Always have a fire extinguisher located near the generator.
In closing always read and following the manufactures instructions for the safe handling and use of the portable generator.