Having a portable generator for emergency use can truly make life a lot more bearable in those times when the electric grid goes down, usually do to a storm or perhaps some limbs leaning on a wire causing it to pop on the transformer.

I expect to loose power a few times a year, as a matter of fact, I am running on generator power right now due to high winds that knocked me of the grid. Although convenient, a portable generator can also be deadly, so I though this would be a good time to go over some portable generator tips.

Never use a generator indoors or even in an attached garage

  • A portable generator is basicly an internal combustion engine that exhausts a carbon monoxide or CO2. CO2 is odorless, colorless and deadly. You can be overcome quickly if the generator is used indoors.
  • Always place the generator outside where exhaust fumes will not enter into enclosed spaces. Only operate a generator outdoors in a well-ventilated area, and also away from any open windows in your home.

Never connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring

  • Connecting a portable generator directly to your household wiring is the wrong move. This could actually cause a “back feed” into the power lines connected to your home, which could be dealt for people working on the lines to restore power.
  • If you do want to hardwire a generator to your home, have it installed by a licensed electrician. You don't want any mistakes in this department.

Don’t plug a portable generator into an electric outlet in your home or garage

  • Unless you have a professionally installed hard wired connection use heavy-duty, outdoor rated power cords to connect directly to the generator. Appliances can then be connected to the power cord.
  • Make sure to use outdoor-rated power cord that has the proper wire gauge to handle the electric load.

Don’t overload the generator

  • If you put too many appliances on the generator, it could seriously damage. Overloading the generator could also cause fires in the power cords.

Final Tips

  • Keep gas stored away from the generator, and always turn off before refueling
  • Be mindful of the muffler and other hot areas.

Hope these tips help bring safety back to top of mind.

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