While a portable generator is an incredibly convenient bit of machinery, it is also exceedingly dangerous if you do not use it properly. We have put together this article as somewhat of a ‘guide’ to ensuring that you and your family are kept safe. While you will probably find some of these rules in the legal system somewhere, they aren’t ‘laws’ as such. Nobody is going to charge you with any sort of crime if you break them. You certainly would be putting your health at risk, though. With all the horrible natural disasters wreaking havoc across the world like hurricane Harvey and the terrible situation in Puerto Rico, we wanted to make sure people are staying safe and using their generators properly.
Storage of Fuel
Portable generators need a lot of fuel to get going. It is likely that you are going to store some of it outside of the generator. You need to have a secure location to put it in. Note: a secure location is not inside of your home. Imagine this situation; you store gas canisters in your home. If they catch on fire, you lose your home. Now, buy an outdoor storage shed and they catch on fire…. What do you lose? A bit of fuel and a shed. Nobody is running the risk of dying. You are not losing your livelihood. You are losing some wood and some fuel.
It is important to note that there may be laws in your local area which dictate how much fuel you can store on your property. We recommend that you research laws into your local area to find out. There may even be laws for how you store the fuel. Again, research.
Follow the Instructions
Portable generators can pump out carbon monoxide. Therefore, it is important that you use the portable generator outside. Use it inside and you won’t know that it is slowly killing you. In fact, there are so many cases out there of people who have died simply because they were stupid enough to use the generator indoors. We hope you are sensible.
Make sure that you follow all instructions and all the portable generator reviews you can on your specific generator to limit carbon monoxide ‘generation’. So, use the correct fuel etc.
Your generator will eventually run out of fuel. When that happens, switch it off. Let it cool down. When you think about it, it is stupid to pour a combustible material into a hot appliance, right?
Keep that Generator Dry
Most people who use a generator are going to be using outside (obviously, you do not want to use it indoors). However, just because the generator has been made to be used outside, it does not mean it can cope with all conditions. Your generator is pumping out electricity. Electrical appliances really loathe getting wet.
Always check the wiring of your generator. Check electrical connections. Check that the equipment is rated for use with the generator (check the amps and watts they require).
You should absolutely NEVER backfeed. You are running the risk of death. Actually, you are also running the risk of causing your neighbors death too. Backfeeding is when you plug the portable generator into a wall to try and power it.
We promise you, if you follow these ‘laws’, you and your family will find that using the portable generator is incredibly safe.
We found a great infographic that we believe could be helpful: