In times of natural disasters and power outages, a generator is a valuable piece of equipment to have at your disposal. As great as they are for getting your refrigerator and lights up and running again, not knowing how to use one can be extremely dangerous to you and others in your area.
Hiring the right electrician to correctly install a generator for your home, as well as to show you the basics of safe use, will keep you and your family ready to handle any emergency safely and efficiently. As you prepare to call our stellar professionals at GVEC Electrician Services, take these safety tips to heart when contemplating generator use.
Portable generators are great for outdoor activities such as camping and recreational vehicles. As generators operate, they release carbon monoxide into the air. This poisonous, odorless gas can kill if it is allowed to build up in enclosed spaces. Never attempt to operate a portable generator inside your home or garage, as it could have catastrophic consequences for you or others.
Avoid Wet Use
Always operate your generator in dry, open areas and on a dry, even surface where water cannot form puddles underneath it. Dry your hands before operating a generator, and do not attempt to touch, turn off or turn on a generator if you are standing in water.
Use Generator-Approved Power Cords
A generator cord is constructed for use in all kinds of conditions. These all-weather cords are split with three to four 120-volt outlets on the end that are approved and safe for use with a generator.
Refuel Only When Cool
Generators generate a great deal of heat when they are used for an extended time. Attempting to refuel a hot generator could end in a combustible situation that could leave you with serious burns. Allow your generator to cool down before refueling, and make sure to store additional fuel far away from your generator to reduce the risk of fire.
Don’t Overdo the Load
It is important not to overload your generator’s capacity for putting out electricity. Knowing how many watts your major appliances require, as well as the total capacity of your generator, will allow you to make decisions about what to run and what to leave unplugged for a time. Practice proper power management; just because your generator has a large capacity doesn’t mean you have to run everything at the same time.
Maintain Good Fuel Quality
Old or unclean fuel is a major cause of generator issues. Generator manufacturers generally recommend using fuel stabilizers and cleaners to minimize fuel breakdown and dirt buildup, ensuring that your generator works for you when you need it most.
Look For An Automatic CO Shutoff Sensor
Today’s smart generators are equipped with a carbon monoxide (CO) shutoff sensor. This sensor will automatically turn off the generator if CO saturation levels in an enclosed area are too high.
Call in an Electrician
If you are looking to install a standby generator, it’s wise to consult an electrician for proper installation and storage advice for generator accessories to ensure its safe use. An electrician will know about potential hazards created by running a generator, such as:
- Electrical hazards
- Fire and CO hazards
- Noise pollution
A qualified electrician can easily detect and troubleshoot potential problems with setup and operation to make sure your system is ready to run.
An electrician can also provide valuable advice on how to properly ground your generator. Grounding lines are essential to prevent electrocution. Grounding cables are designed to pull electrical current away from appliances and into the ground. Following grounding instructions is critical to ensuring the safe operation of your unit in emergency conditions. Grounding of your generator should be left to the professionals.
Efficient training and following safety protocols while installing, operating and maintaining your generator is life-saving information. It is essential in preventing injuries to yourself and others while using a generator to provide back up power to your home. At GVEC Electrician Services, our highly skilled electricians have experience serving valued customers in South Central Texas and the surrounding areas. With services such as electrical panel upgrades, repairs, rewiring, surge protection and generator installation, we provide you with solutions to all your electrical problems. Contact us today to see how we can help you install and use your generator safely and efficiently.