Safety Tips for Using a Generator If the Power Goes Out
Home generators are selling rapidly as Hurricane Sandy begins to move toward the eastern United States.
It is important to know how to safely use portable generators in the event the power goes out. The City of Norwich Emergency Management Office offers these tips:
- Engines emit carbon monoxide. NEVER use a generator inside your home, garage, crawl space, or other enclosed areas. Fatal fumes can build up, that neither a fan nor open doors and windows can provide enough fresh air.
- Only use your generator outdoors, away from open windows, vents, or doors.
- Use a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector in the area youâre running a generator.
- Gasoline and its vapors are extremely flammable. Allow the generator engine to cool at least 2 minutes before refueling and always use fresh gasoline. If you do not plan to use your generator in 30 days, donât forget to stabilize the gas with fuel stabilizer.
- If you have to use extension cords, be sure they are of the grounded type and are rated for the application. Coiled cords can get extremely hot; always uncoil cords and lay them in flat open locations.
- Never plug your generator directly into your home outlet. If you are connecting a generator into your home electrical system, have a qualified electrician install a Power Transfer Switch.
- Generators produce powerful voltage – Never operate under wet conditions. Take precautions to protect your generator from exposure to rain and snow.