Portable generators provide power when the main grid goes down and can be set up quickly anywhere there is an outlet.
But they need special care and attention because they’re not as safe as traditional generators.
Don’t be scared of portable generators if you use them responsibly! But what are portable generator safety tips?
Follow these portable generator safety tips and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing your generator will never electrocute you or start any fires around the house while running on an overinflated circuit.
If you want to know about the maintenance tips, the must-read quick portable generator maintenance tips.
Portable Generator Safety Tips
Use Your Generator Outside
Gasoline and propane exhaust can be deadly in an enclosed space.
Keep any carbon monoxide fumes from the generator outside by ensuring it is at least 15 feet away from windows and doors.
Generate Electricity for Only What You Need
Don’t let your house draw more than half of the generator’s capacity.
If you’re using a 5000-watt generator, don’t use more than 2500 watts at any time.
This will help the generator last longer and ensure it can deliver power when you need it — like when the lights go out.
Let Your Generator Cool Down
Don’t use your generator if it is hot to the touch; let it cool down for at least 30 minutes first.
This will help ensure that the machine is not damaged before you even plug it in.
Bring Your Portable Generator Inside After Using It
Don’t leave a portable generator outside all night, especially if you live in areas with cold winters.
Let it sit inside overnight to avoid the risk of any problems caused by condensation or freezing weather.
Don’t Tether Your Generator
You’ll want to be sure your generator is sturdy and solid on its feet before you plug anything into it. But once it’s ready for business, don’t tie it down.
If you tether your generator and a gust of wind comes along, the machine might pull your house down with it as it goes rolling across the yard.
Check Your Oil
The oil level in your generator should be between 25% and 50% every 100 hours of use under normal conditions.
Please don’t open up the generator to check the oil level yourself — bring it in and have a professional do it.
Be Prepared for a Long Haul
You should expect some problems with your generator first, especially if it’s been sitting around for some time.
Run the machine outside or hook it up to some good-sized extension cords before you try to run anything to be sure the machine is working properly.
You must read the article about how generators work. It will help you understand the basic mechanism of the generator’s working.
Be Considerate of Your Neighbors
A portable generator user must try to do everything in your neighborhood a favor and use it during daylight hours, if possible!
This will help avoid interference with sleep patterns for people who are sensitive to noise or light.
Remember: a portable generator is a very dangerous piece of equipment, and it should be used responsibly.
Never Back feed Your Home
It’s extremely dangerous to back-feed your home’s electrical system by plugging the generator into an outlet with the same circuit for powering your house.
You could electrocute yourself or a utility worker if you do this without knowing what you’re doing (which is why it should be left to a professional).
Use Proven and Reliable Outlet
Don’t plug in your generator to an outlet that has been used by an electric tool, like a sander. I
t will start sparking and firing or electrocution if the outlet is faulty or not grounded adequately.
Use only outlets tested and used for electrical appliances like your refrigerator.
Don’t Run Your Generator in the Rain
If you need to use your generator in the rain, disconnect it from any outlets before doing so.
Electricity and water don’t mix – if they come into contact with one another, bad things are likely to happen.
Remember that generators are dangerous pieces of equipment. Never let children or pets near a running generator.
If you have a generator for your home or apartment, do not use it if you have a heart condition or any other medical complication.
When in doubt about how to safely get the most out of your portable generator, consult a professional.
Stay Away from Hot Engine Parts
If the generator’s engine is running hot, you’ll want to let it cool down before touching it.
Motors with their engines still running can burn you very badly if touched.
Inspect Your Generator for Damage
Before plugging your generator into any outlet, make sure to inspect it closely for damage and must take safety measures.
Check like professionals to see any cracks, leaks, or other issues.
This way, you can make sure there’s nothing wrong with it and it is safe to plug in and use before putting yourself in danger by doing so.
Be aware of the maximum load your generator is rated for – don’t overload it.
If you are looking at running more than one appliance at a time, you might have to invest in a bigger generator.
Don’t Let Your Generator Overheat:
Be aware of the heat build-up in your generator when it is plugged in and running for long periods.
Install an external fan or other cooling aid to ensure the unit does not overheat.
Use Heavy-duty Extension Cords:
If you are looking to use your generator for large appliances, make sure to keep it on a flat surface.
Never set up your generator on inclined ground, or it will risk falling over.
The area should be clean and be aware that the air vents should not be blocked. Buy a heavy-duty extension cord rated for outdoor use.
You will also need extension cords that are rated to carry the wattage necessary for your appliances.
Make Sure Your Generator Has a Grounded Outlet
This might seem obvious, but it is easy to assume just because you have an outlet that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem with it.
Make sure it is grounded properly before plugging anything into it.
Generators are a must-have in households with power outages.
However, it’s important to consult a professional before using one for your home or business because improper use can be dangerous.
This article about portable generator safety tips has provided valuable information about how to find and use generators safely with tips from experts in the field of electrical engineering, firefighting, security systems installation, and more.
You should also make sure that you are using only EPA-certified models because these are designed with public safety in mind – something we want for all our readers!