5 Tips for Using a Portable Generator Safely

If you haven’t invested in a standby generator, you may have a portable generator on hand as part of your emergency preparedness kit.  If your power goes out for extended periods, especially in dangerous weather conditions, you need to know how to use your portable generator safely.  Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe and comfortable in an emergency.

  1. Disconnect the power coming into your home.  If you turn on your generator while your home is connected to the main power grid, you could be sending power back into the lines.  Utility crews working to restore power could be hurt when what they thought was a dead line turns out to be live.
  2. Use outdoor-rated, heavy duty extension cords to plug equipment into your generator. These cords are strong and well-insulated enough to handle the power load.
  3. Take a break before refueling. If you need to refuel your generator, turn it off and let it cool completely before adding more fuel.  Plan for these breaks by charging your necessary equipment and getting your home to as comfortable a temperature as possible.
  4. Make sure your generator is properly grounded to avoid electric shocks.  This handy OSHA guide has all the information you need to make sure your generator is well-grounded.
  5.  Most importantly, keep your generator well away from your home.  Carbon monoxide is deadly and it can overcome a person without much warning.  It’s recommended that generators be placed at least 15 feet away from any open windows to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide exposure. 

Precision Mechanical Services offers rental generators in various sizes to help you weather any emergency.  If you’re looking to invest in a whole-home standby generator, you can request a quote or contact us for more information.  We service all major brands of generators and offer customizable professional maintenance plans.