Avoid fatal mistakes while using generators…

With the calendar creeping ever closer to November, many of you on the east coast have to worry about the hurricane season; and with this time of the year and these powerful storms you will see a lot of people losing power.

When you lose power, you pull out the ole’ generator to power your home right? Well we stumbled across this new article by The Times-Picayune “NOLA.com”, an online news publication that is giving great safety tips for when you are operating your generator this season…

You can see the entire article here… Or feel free to read the copied version below:

Avoid fatal mistakes while using generators during Tropical Storm Karen, state health officials say

By Michelle Hunter, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune 

Tropical Storm Karen may be losing strength, but she could still muster enough of a punch to knock out power in parts of southeastern Louisiana. For residents who plan to use a backup generator, officials with the state Department of Health and Hospitals offered up some rules to avoid potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning, fires and other injuries.

Generators produce carbon monoxide, a deadly colorless and odorless gas. Symptoms of inhalation include nausea, headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness, irritability, confusion and memory loss. Officials suggested residents ensure they have a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector installed in their homes.

While using a generator during power loss, state health officials said:

  • Never run a generator inside of a residence.
  • Do not run the generator inside a garage, near the residence or near air conditioner intakes. The carbon monoxide can still enter the house.
  • Use heavy-gauge extension cords to run power from the generator to appliances.
  • If you must to run an extension cord from the generator into the house through an open doorway or window, do not slam the door or window shut on the extension cord. That could result in a short and cause a fire. Leave just enough space in the door or window to run the cord then seal the opening by using duct tape.
  • Check this taped seal frequently for leaks to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Do not connect a generator directly to a household electrical system because it can back-feed electrical current into power lines. If this is done, utility workers will be unaware that power is running through a line, and they could be electrocuted or injured.
  • Store fuel in a container designated for gasoline or diesel. Do not use discarded milk jugs, glass bottles or other containers to store fuel. Some plastics can melt if they come in contact with fuel.
  • Store generator fuel away from the generator, and refuel only after the generator has cooled. Use a funnel to prevent spills.
  • To prevent creating a dangerous spark when refueling, ensure the fuel can is placed on the ground. Do not refill when the container is in or on a vehicle.
  • Allow a generator to run for two to three minutes before plugging in a power cord.
  • Turn off appliances before shutting off a generator, to prevent damage to electrical circuits.
  • Consult the generator owner’s manual to determine its power capacity. Choose a generator that produces more power than you will need when all electrical appliances are running.
  • Most generators are not strong enough to power an entire house, so you must ration its use to prevent tripping a circuit breaker on the generator.
  • Each electrical device uses a maximum number of watts. That number usually is found on a manufacturer’s label on the appliance. For example, a 5,000-watt generator can run an average refrigerator, freezer, portable fan and a 60-watt light bulb.
  • Always operate a generator in a clean, dry location. A generator produces enough electricity to electrocute you, so do not run a generator in standing water.
  • Voltage-sensitive appliances such as televisions and computers should not be powered by a generator without some type of surge protection device.

For more information on generators, look at the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Web site: http://www.cpsc.gov/info/co/generators.html”

Full credits and article by: The Times-Picayune  (http://www.nola.com/hurricane/index.ssf/2013/10/avoid_fatal_mistakes_while_usi.html)

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Posted in Generator, Safety Tips
4 comments on “Avoid fatal mistakes while using generators…
  1. Great advice! Nobody needs more than one tragedy at a time. 🙂

  2. Ingrid says:

    Good advice. We haven’t gone solar yet and use our generator regularly when boondocking. Helpful info, thanks 🙂

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