Tips on How to Use a Generator Safely

A generator can be a lifesaver when your power goes out or when you need to power equipment at an outdoor event or camping trip. But whether it’s a stationary or portable generator, you need to be careful while operating and storing it. This post will cover a few of the top safety tips for using a generator:

  • Position it far from any structures: It doesn’t take much carbon monoxide exposure to make people ill. Generators are some of the biggest carbon monoxide hazards, especially if they’re run indoors or too close to a home or business. Generators should be at least 15 feet away from a structure to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Run it on a level surface: In addition to keeping it far away, make sure your generator is on level ground before you start it up. The engine may not receive the fuel or oil it needs to operate if it’s not on even terrain, leading to breakdowns or no power supply.
  • Disconnect from your normal power source: Before turning your generator on during a power outage, be sure to disconnect from your power source by shutting down your circuit breaker. Neglecting this step could endanger utility workers because power will be sent back through utility company lines once power is restored to your property.
  • Use the appropriate cords: One of the top tips for using a generator safely is to be careful about which cords you’re using to connect your generator to appliances. Generators require 12-gauge, outdoor-rated extension cords for safe operation. Additionally, never run an extension cord longer than 100 feet to power appliances. The voltage drop on long cords can cause premature compressor burnout.
  • Never plug it into an electrical outlet: Using a generator safely also means never plugging it directly into an outlet. While this may seem like a good way to power your whole home, you need an electrician to install equipment before you can power your entire home with a generator. Trying to power your home or office without an automatic transfer switch can lead to an electrical fire.
  • Maintain an adequate fuel supply: Hopefully, you won’t need to use your emergency generator for too long before power is restored. But just in case the outage lasts for a while, you should take care to always have extra fuel on hand. Be sure to store all fuel supplies in appropriate containers far away from the generator or any other heat source.
  • Perform routine inspections: Finally, perform routine self-inspections of your generator to ensure everything looks good, and consider hiring a pro to perform a professional inspection once a year or so. Any cracks or other damage should be addressed immediately—never run your generator if there are any signs of visible damage.

Buy your new generator from us

If your current generator isn’t meeting your needs, shop for a new one at Wenniger Compressor Co. Reach out to us today for more information about our inventory or to learn some more safety tips for using a generator.

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