The ABCs of Safe Generator Operation

ABC's of powering generators with a picture of a red generator

Mr. Electric® wants to make sure everyone is ready for the fall and winter months in case any weather-related disasters occur.  The importance of having alternate reliable energy when the need arises cannot be stressed enough. Electricity is the lifeline of many local businesses, hospitals and city buildings, and the amount of electricity usage in households is often taken for granted.

Generators propose a great solution when temporary power is needed, but they also require special care and attention to detail for safe operation and maintenance. Follow these tips to stay safe while operating permanently placed and portable generators.

Avoid enclosed areas.

Always operate generators outside in well-ventilated areas and away from windows, doors and vents. Enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation, can result in CO poisoning.

“One generator produces as much CO as hundreds of cars. CO from a generator is deadly and can incapacitate and kill you within minutes.”

- Consumer Product Safety Commission

Beware of backfeeding.

Plugging the generator into a wall outlet, also known as backfeeding, can pose an electrocution risk to utility workers as well as other homeowners and businesses served by the same utility transformer.

Mr. Electric licensed service professionals will be able to install a transfer switch, which will prevent a back feed in electrical current.

Cool it down.

Before refueling, always turn off the generator and allow time for it to cool off before refueling. Continuous operation heats up the generator and any fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

Store fuel away from any fuel-burning appliance and outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass containers.

Dry it off.

Always make sure the generator is kept dry during use, and dry your hands before touching it. Operate the generator under an open, canopy-like structure.

Never use the generator in wet or rainy weather or manipulate the electrical components if you are in standing water. Correctly storing and maintaining generators will prolong the life of the unit.

Being aware of the inherent hazards of electric generators will help prevent harmful situations. These tips from Mr. Electric will keep homeowners safe while operating permanently placed and portable generators.