Top Safety Tips for Using a Backup Power Generator

power generator safety tips

Power outages are typically caused by severe
weather conditions—such as hurricanes and icy winter storms, or even strong
winds, heavy rain, and snowfall. Outages can be extremely inconvenient and make
everyday life difficult, especially when they happen frequently or for long
periods of time. If you live in an area where
storms and other weather conditions cause frequent outages, using a
power generator to power up your home can be an efficient solution to the
problem.

While a power generator is a valuable piece
of equipment for many homeowners, generators can be dangerous. Misuse of the
generator can result in carbon
monoxide poisoning, fatal or severe injuries, and house fires. In fact, in
the United States, an average of 70 people have died each year since 2005 from
deaths related to due to the improper use of generators. Additionally, it’s
estimated that up to 2,800 people suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning that emanates from
portable generator machines.

As scary as these facts might seem,
avoiding a potential power generator-related catastrophe is a matter of staying
informed and keeping proactive with repairs, maintenance, and upkeep of your
system. At Happy Home Heating & Cooling, we’re dedicated to helping our
customers with first-rate emergency
HVAC services and top-quality power generator services.

In this article, our team of HVAC experts shares our best backup power generator safety tips for your safety
at home. This list of Do’s and Don’ts will help you to avoid putting your
family in danger of some of the serious consequences that come from misusing a
power generator.

Do Read Your Power Generator’s Instruction Manual

While many people are not fond of reading through
the contents of a product operator’s manual, it is highly recommended that you
do in order to learn how to operate it properly. The manual will also include
precautions and guidelines that you can follow to ensure safety and proper
functioning of the generator.

Don’t Forget to Turn the Generator Off
Before Refueling

Before you refuel the generator, ensure
that you turn it off to allow it to cool first. Obviously, when gasoline comes
into contact with the hottest parts of the engine, it can cause these parts to
ignite. Cooling it off beforehand will greatly reduce the risk of fire and
injury caused by burns.

Do Not Operate Your Generator in an Enclosed
Space

When you use the power generator in even a partially
enclosed indoor area inside your home, your risk
for carbon monoxide
poisoning is much greater than if you were to use it in an open
space. Ensure that you position the generator at least 20 feet away from your
house and that the exhaust is turned away from your windows and doors.

Do Use Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Because carbon monoxide poisoning is a huge risk for users
of power generators, one of the best backup power generator safety tips is to install
battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Carbon monoxide detectors will set off an alarm
before deadly levels are hit. Just make sure that the alarm adheres to the
current UL 2034 safety standards for superior efficacy in detecting carbon
monoxide gas.

Don’t Backfeed Your Home

Backfeeding is when electrical power is
allowed to flow in reverse to power your home. For example, backfeeding would mean plugging your power
generator into the wall outlet inside your home, essentially feeding the power
supply in reverse to the electrical panel. Not only is backfeeding illegal, but it’s also highly dangerous and can lead to
electrocution. Additionally, doing this can also fry your appliances and
electronics as it will bypass your circuit protection devices.

Do Use Precautions to Prevent Electrical
Risks

Use the outlets on your power generator if
you don’t have a transfer switch yet, but make sure that you take necessary
precautions. These include using heavy-duty extension cords, plugging the
appliance directly to the power generator, as well as checking power cords for
damage before plugging them in.

Your Trusted HVAC Services Provider

Happy Home Heating & Cooling is a
trusted provider of top-rated HVAC repair, maintenance, replacement, and emergency HVAC services
for North Carolina homeowners. With the help of
our team of NATE-certified electricians and HVAC professionals, our BBB
accredited company has provided exceptional services for our customers since
1955.

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