If the power goes out over the winter, a backup generator can keep your home’s lights and appliances operating, and allow to you run essentials like the heating equipment. To avoid dangers like accidental fires, exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) or shocks and electrocution, it’s vital to use your generator wisely. You should read and follow the equipment manufacturer’s use guidelines.
Follow these wise generator safety tips:
- Never run your generator indoors, in your basement or garage, or outside close to windows, doors or exhaust vents so any lethal CO gas produced can’t enter your home. For greater safety, make sure you have well-functioning carbon monoxide detectors installed and test each one monthly.
- To reduce the chance of shocks or electrocution, your generator should be placed on a dry surface and under a canopy so it’s not exposed to any rain. Plus, don’t touch the device if you have wet hands.
- Follow your manufacturer’s guidelines on the type of fuel to use, and ask your fire department about the amount of fuel you can store.
- Only keep fuel in approved cans, and store it outdoors in a sheltered, locked location. Never store fuel near any combustion devices, such as a water or space heater.
- Before refilling the fuel, shut your generator off and allow it cool down so gas spills can’t catch fire on the hot engine.
- Don’t attempt to power your home by plugging a generator into a wall outlet. This practice – called backfeeding – puts you and everyone in the area in grave danger of electrocution.
- If you own a 5,000 watt-rated generator (or larger), have a licensed electrician install a transfer switch so you can safely connect the unit to your home’s electrical panel.
- If you’re using a smaller generator, only use a heavy-duty, outdoor extension cord to connect your household items. Make sure the cord has a grounding prong, and that its watt or amp rating matches the total load of the items you want to power.
To learn more generator safety practices for your Monmouth County home, contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).