There is no question that an electric generator can be a helpful machine in emergency situations or when the power fails for other reasons. However, before you begin to make use of these generators, you should learn to use them responsibly. One of the biggest concerns regarding electric generators is that they will emit deadly carbon monoxide gas when being used.
The fact is that there are a number of ways that you can unsafely and incorrectly operate a generator. When you have the proper knowledge of how to use these pieces of equipment, you will be able to handle any power outage situation without issue.
Keep the Generator Outdoors
You should never run your electric generator inside your home, garage, in your basement or a shed, even if you plan to open windows or doors and fans for ventilation. The carbon monoxide can reach deadly levels quickly remain in these types of spaces for several hours, even after you have shut off the generator.
Use the Manufacturer’s Instructions
It is important to follow the maintenance and operating instructions that came from the manufacturer. While each generator may have somewhat different instructions, you can generally expect the following:
- Place the generator outdoors away from vents, window and doors.
- Be sure the generator engine exhaust is directed away from any spaces that may be occupied.
Install CO Alarms
If you are planning to use an electric generator, it is a good idea to install a battery operated CO alarm inside your home. You should ensure that the alarm you install is certified to the latest requirements and standards of safety.
Allow the Generator to Cool Down
The gasoline that is used in generators is extremely flammable. Prior to refueling the generator you should turn it off and then allow it to cool down for several minutes. If you spill any gas on the engine parts while they are still hot, then they may ignite. You should also never add any gasoline to a running generator.
If you do have a gas spill on the generator’s engine, you need to wait until it has completely evaporated before you restart it. Also, always be sure to use fresh gas in the generator no matter what. If you are not going to need it for more than 30 days, add a fuel stabilizer into the tank.
A generator can be a great piece of equipment to have in emergency situations; however, learning how to use them safely is essential for your well-being and the well-being of your family.