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Generator Safety Tips You Should Know

generator safety

In Atlantic Canada, home generators can provide much-needed power during a power outage. However, they can also cause safety concerns if they aren’t used properly. That’s why it’s essential to understand the basics of generator safety. You can avoid potential hazards by understanding the importance of generator safety and implementing a few safety tips. 

The Importance of Generator Safety

Home generators offer homeowners a sense of security, knowing they can access electricity during a power outage. However, misusing a generator can cause serious safety hazards, including:

  • Electrocution
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  • Fire Potential 

The importance of generator safety can’t be overstated. In a crisis, home generators provide homeowners a sense of security and comfort. For instance, if you place a generator too close to a wall or fabric, the heat generated from the unit could cause a fire. Similarly, if a generator is operated without being grounded, the risk of electrocution increases. While you can’t eliminate all risks associated with home generators, you can reduce them by following a few simple safety tips.

10 Generator Safety Tips for Homeowners

If you’re considering purchasing a generator, it’s essential to understand the basics of generator safety. Here are some generator safety tips you should know:

1. Have a Professional Install the Generator

Generators are complex pieces of equipment, so it’s best to have a professional install the unit. A licensed electrician will be able to ensure that the generator is properly grounded and installed in a way that will reduce the risk of fire, electrocution, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

2. Always Read/Consult Your Operating Manual Before Use 

Before operating your generator for the first time, review the manufacturer’s operating instructions to ensure that you’re using the unit correctly. The operating manual will provide specific guidelines for operating the unit, including the proper orientation and location. It’s also a good idea to consult the owner’s manual for additional tips and information, such as maintenance and storage instructions. 

3. Run the Unit Outside

You should never run your generator inside your home. Instead, run the unit outside. This will minimize the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and electrocution. It’s also a good idea to place the generator on a non-flammable surface, such as dirt or concrete. This will help to prevent the risk of fire.   

4. Allow the Engine to Cool off Before Approaching or Refueling

You must never approach the unit while it’s running as the moving parts will be hot and, when touched, could cause severe burns. Allow the engine to cool off before approaching the unit or refueling. You should also wear protective gear, including gloves and goggles when handling the unit.   

5. Do Not Store Fuel Inside or Within Close Proximity to Your Home

Storing fuel inside your home or within close proximity to your home increases the risk of both an explosion as well as fire. Instead, keep the fuel in an outdoor container away from your home. 

6. Fuel Should Only Be Stored in Approved Containers

It’s also important to only store fuel in approved containers. For instance, gas for home generator use should never be stored inside buckets, common glass containers, etc., as they can increase the risk of an explosion. Instead, you should store the fuel in approved outdoor containers, such as lockable plastic containers with vent caps or pressure-tested fuel storage containers with rubber gaskets. 

7. Use Proper Extension Cords When Needed

Extension cords should only be used as a last resort. The risk of electrocution and fire increases when extension cords are used instead of approved indoor wiring. However, if you can’t run the generator close enough to your home to use the approved wiring, you may need an extension cord. 

Make sure to use only approved outdoor extension cords with protective jackets to minimize fire risk. These cords should be heavy-duty extension cords and be approved for use with a generator. 

8. Never Plug Your Generator into a Wall Outlet

You should never plug your generator into a wall outlet. This can increase the risk of electrocution, and if the generator is running when this occurs, it could cause an explosion or fire. Instead, you should only plug the generator into a transfer switch or a circuit breaker panel. This provides a safer way to power your home’s essential appliances, such as lights and refrigerators.  

9. Avoid Running Your Generator in the Rain

You should also avoid running your generator in the rain. This is because rain is a great conductor of electricity and can increase the risk of an electric shock or fire. Instead, you should only run the generator when it’s dry. 

10. Never Run Your Generator When You Aren’t Home

You should never run your generator when you aren’t home. This increases the risk of potential hazards as nobody is around to shut the generator off if something goes wrong. In the event of a power outage, your generator should only be used when you’re home and able to shut the generator off and on as needed. 

Protect Your Home with a Home Insurance Policy from Higgins

Generators can be a great way to protect your family from both a power outage and natural disasters. However, when improperly used, they can also pose a severe risk to your home and family. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that your generator is used safely and appropriately.

To ensure that your home is properly protected against the unknown, it’s a good idea to invest in a home insurance policy. A home insurance policy from Higgins can help protect your home against various perils and provide financial protection should disaster strike. 

With a Higgins home insurance policy, you’ll also receive expert advice and guidance from our friendly and knowledgeable agents. We’ll go above and beyond to ensure that you’re receiving the most comprehensive coverage at the best rate possible. 

Don’t wait to get your generator safety questions answered. Contact our team today, and we will be happy to assist you!