A generator is a helpful device for power outages, but can also be very dangerous if not maintained and connected properly. If the generator is connected directly to the main electrical system of any building it might injure a person. It can even result in electrocution. Therefore, it is important to take generator safety tips for installing or connecting the generator seriously. If connecting a generator to the home, you need to hire a qualified, licensed electrician.
There are some generator safety tips that are different for both portable and standby generators. This article will explain all the requirements for both the generator types.
Safety Tips for Portable Generators
Portable generators are suitable for outdoor activities like camping and recreational vehicles. It is optimal to operate electrical heaters, running refrigerators and charging gadgets. To enjoy the advantages of portable generators it is important to follow portable generator safety tips.
1. Operate It Outside
It is extremely important to place the portable generator outside the home or in an open area because portable generators release carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous, colorless and odorless gas that can take human life in no time. It can even lead to carbon monoxide poisoning that can kill a person in less than 5 minutes.
2. Prefer CO Shutoff Sensor
To eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, purchase a generator that has a built-in feature of the CO shutoff sensor. It is responsible for automatically shutting off the generator if the carbon monoxide level rises above the level. It also ensures that the engines emit less CO in the first place.
3. Say no to Wet Conditions
Always operate a generator in dry weather conditions, in an open area and on a dry surface where water cannot form puddles or drains under it. Never forget to dry your hands before touching the generator. Also, make sure you are standing in a dry place when operating a generator.
4. Use Heavy Duty Power Cords
Generator cords are specifically build to all sorts of conditions. They are all-weather cords that are split with three or four 120-volt outlets on end. These are useful and safe for generator use.
5. Refuel When Cool
Generators run hot if they are used for an extended time span. Make sure you turned it off and let it cool down before refueling. Store extra fuel in a separate area where children can not reach. Also, ensure there is nothing combustible nearby your running generator.
Safety Tips for Standby Generators
A standby generator is a back-up for electricity outrages and it operates automatically within seconds once power loss has been detected. The power loss signal reaches to transfer switch and the electrical load is taken by the generator. The standby generator begins supplying power to the connected circuits.
1. Run it on a level surface
Many generators own a “splash” lubrication system that takes out oil and splashes on the moving parts. That system can function properly only if the unit is on level ground. But if you place the generator on a slope more than 10 degrees, the dippers of the generator can’t reach the oil, leaving the parts of the engine dry. That’s a key for catastrophic failure. Keenly read the manufacturer’s warnings and place your generator on a level surface.
2. Maintain The Fuel Quality
Unclean or old fuel is the major cause of creating problems for the generators. Every generator manufacturer recommends adding fuel stabilizer to minimize fuel breakdown and dirt buildup.
3. Don’t Overload Your Generator
Generators produce electricity by burning fuel and the most common fuel among them is unleaded gasoline. The electricity output is measured in watts and generators range from 1,000 watts up to 10,000 or more. A generator is needed that can meet or exceed the power of your appliances or your home need. For detailed review don’t forget to read what size generator for home.
4. Practice Power Management
You should practice proper power management. Even if you have enough watts to run your appliances, you don’t need to run everything at the same time. Run only what is required the most at a time and turn appliances one at a time. Some items require extra power when they are first turned on so pretty sure no one wants to create power spikes.
5. Don’t Plug a Generator Into a Wall Switch
A transfer switch is the safest way for isolating your home’s circuits from the main power. Plugging a generator into a wall outlet can send power back down the home’s circuit or utility lines. This is called a back-feed that can harm your generator, start a fire, and could even electrocute technicians that are working to fix the issue by bringing back power on the lines.
Advance Safety Tips For Generators
The following tips will be useful for experts, professional technicians, and professional operators. Previously mentioned tips are inclusive while applying advance safety tips for generators.
1. Know About Hazards Caused by Generators
Always ensure, the person who is maintaining generators is a trained electrician as well. Transfer systems must be installed if you are seeking to connect them directly with your electrical system. These switches allow a generator to power hardwired appliances. Only use cords recommended by the generators O&M manual. Three-pong cords must be used to prevent damage.
Generators can produce enough energy to ignite combustible materials for some time even after they are shut down. Store generator fuel away from open flames and heat sources. Store the fuel in an appropriate incombustible container and away from children. Vapors from gasoline can travel a long way to ignition sources that are very endangering.
Normally generators are very noisy and vibrative, making it one of the genuine reasons to install it outside. The noise can damage hearing and cause fatigue.
2. Don’t Forget To Ground Your Generator
A grounding line is essential to prevent electrocution. Grounding wires and cabling is easy to extend anywhere for directing electricity away from appliances and to the ground. This is essential for rainy weather conditions, during construction sites, and on the above groundwork. Each Generator manual will give the appropriate instructions on the earthing requirements. Follow these very carefully.
Proper training and following the safety precautions while operating, installing and maintaining your generator is life-saving and beneficial for your surroundings. It is the only way to prevent injuries while providing an adequate amount of power needed for your house or business. Generator demands proper care and foresight to prevent hazards and dangers.