Safety Tips about the Use of Portable Generators
A power outage can cause serious problems for anyone – whether it creates dangerous temperatures in a home, wastes food, freezes pipes, halts operations at a business, or simply makes it impossible to perform everyday tasks. For this reason, many Connecticut home and business owners have portable generators ready to go in the event of a power outage. While these generators can save the day in many ways, there are also risks involved with using a generator. Everyone should be aware of how to operate these appliances safely to prevent injury.
The following are some considerations when using a portable generator at your home or office:
- Read the instructions – Every generator should come with specific instructions for proper use and you should read them fully before setting up the generator for use. Even if you have had generators in the past, different models may have different risks and you should never assume you know how everything works. Also, follow the instructions for proper maintenance of your generator.
- Beware of carbon monoxide – Generator engines let off carbon monoxide, which is poisonous and possibly fatal. Always use a generator outside and never in an enclosed space—even a crawl space or garage. Keep your generator away from doors, windows, or vents and use carbon monoxide detectors (battery-powered if needed) throughout your home. The CPSC reports too many deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning from generators, so always take steps to keep your family safe.
- Avoid fires – Generators run on flammable gasoline, so you should always keep the generator far from other combustible materials. In addition, follow instructions for refueling, including allowing the generator to cool first and stabilizing gasoline when necessary.
- Avoid electrocution – Generators create high voltage so you should never plug one directly into a regular outlet in your home. Make sure any extension cords used are grounded and suitable for the voltage of your generator. Never use a generator in the rain, snow, or other wet conditions.
The above safety tips can keep you safe while using a generator. However, even if you take all necessary precautions, injuries can still occur due to portable generators. First, someone else could misuse the generator—such as at your workplace—and can result in injuries to employees. In addition, a generator itself may be defective and may cause injuries even if it is used as instructed. If you sustain any injuries or someone dies due to a generator, you should discuss your rights with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.