Electric Generator Safety

We see generators every day on the job sites and they are also a necessity during power outages but as you servicing whatever it may be your servicing are you also creating a disaster? Generators can pose serious safety hazards to you and to others, so please follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Portable Generators

  • Before starting your generator, carefully read and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Be sure that the total electric load on your generator will not exceed the manufacturer’s rating.
  • Always locate your generator where its exhaust will vent safely.
  • Prioritize your needs. Use the lowest wattage light bulbs that provide a safe level of light, reserving power for additional lighting elsewhere or a small appliance. Remember that the greater the load on your generator, the more fuel it will use.
  • Keep cords out of the way so they don’t present a tripping hazard—especially in dimly lit doorways or halls. Never run cords under rugs or carpets where heat might build up or damage to a cord may go unnoticed.
  • Extension cords must be properly sized to carry the electric load. Overloaded cords can overheat and cause fires or damage to equipment. Danger labels are required on all portable generators manufactured or imported on or after May 14, 2007.
  • Generators pose a risk of shock and electrocution, especially if they are operated in wet conditions. If you must use a generator when it is wet outside, protect the generator from moisture to help avoid the shock/electrocution hazard, but do so without operating the generator indoors or near openings to any building that can be occupied in order to help avoid the CO hazard.
  • NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
  • Never store fuel for your generator in the home. Gasoline, propane, kerosene, and other flammable liquids should be stored outside of living areas in properly-labeled, non-glass safety containers. Do not store them near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage.
  • Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool down. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
  • NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This is extremely dangerous and presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household circuit protection devices.

Generators are a great tool when there is no power present. Normally when power is not present it is frustrating enough so don’t forget the above checklist to make sure everyhring works smoothly and nobody gets injured.

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