Before use, learn about the potential dangers associated with portable generators, such as their production of carbon monoxide (CO). CO is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless poisonous gas that is called the “silent killer” because it is virtually undetectable without the use of technology like CO alarms. Follow these tips to generate power AND safety when using a generator.
- NEVER operate a generator INSIDE your home or in other enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces, including GARAGES
- A generator is a TEMPORARY power source and should never be used as a permanent solution
- NEVER connect generators directly to household wiring without first installing a TRANSFER SWITCH. This prevents backfeeding which could electrocute utility workers making repairs
- Make sure your generator is properly grounded and used with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
- Use only extension cords that have a THREE-PRONGED plug and are rated for the intended load
- Your home generator should be installed by a QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN and bear the mark of a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as UL, Intertek, or CSA
- Install battery-operated CO ALARMS or plug-in CO alarms with a battery backup
- Do NOT OVERLOAD the generator
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends generators be positioned at least 20 FEET from doors, windows, and vents to prevent CO from entering the home
Courtesy of Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).