Generator safety – having a generator to use as a back-up during power outages can be very handy but there are some things you should know about its safe operation.
Here are a few tips for generator safety during storm season
- Read the instructions. While it might seem a bit tedious to wade through the instructions it is important as they will assist you in the safe operation of your generator.
- Be aware of carbon monoxide emitted by your generator. Petrol and diesel-powered generators should not be run in an enclosed space, including the garage. Operate your generator outdoors or buy a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm. Make sure it is well away from windows or doors – including your neighbours!
- Use a heavy-duty extension cord outdoors.
- Do not plug a generator into your household wiring as this can create a back-feed into power lines and endanger energy workers down the line. Alternatively, ask your electrician or licensed electrical contractor to install an isolating switch. This will provide a permanent and safe connection from your generator to your household wiring.
- You can plug most appliances into your generator but it is a good idea to check manufacturer’s instructions first. Also, check your generator’s rated wattage to find out how many appliances it can safely power. Try rotating larger items. Remember, overloading the generator can damage appliances.
- Be aware of your neighbours. Generators are noisy so keep the running of your generator to a minimum.
- Most importantly, check your generator prior to storm season. Take it out of storage, drain any fuel and dispose of it correctly. Make sure fuel lines are intact and replace if required. Refill the generator with fresh fuel and give the generator a trial run. Try plugging an appliance to make sure it is working. If in doubt, have your generator inspected and/or repaired so you are ready for any power outages.
Finally, when storm season is over store your generator safely so it will be ready to do it all again next year! Contact Ikon Electrical for any help you need with your generator or storm safety precautions!