Portable generators play an important role for many homeowners who don’t want to suffer through power losses when a big storm comes racing up the East Coast. But before you start plugging in your appliances and powering up your generator, it’s important to follow a few portable generator safety tips to prevent serious accidents and injuries:

Top Tips for Portable Generator Safety

  1. Read the owner’s manual. Even if you’ve owned a generator in the past, you need to read the manual carefully before operating your unit to make sure you understand all the features, including important safety features, so you can avoid potential accidents.
  2. Never operate the generator indoors – not even in a garage. Portable generators can emit carbon monoxide and other harmful fumes that can cause unconsciousness and even death. Only operate the generator outside where plenty of air can circulate.
  3. Check the power cord. Make sure the cord is properly plugged in, and if you’re using an extension cord, make sure it’s a heavy-duty cord designed for generator use. Also check the cord for any sign of damage and be sure it isn’t kinked or pinched. Only use a cord and outlet that are properly grounded.
  4. Keep the generator away from any flammable liquids or substances to avoid potential fire hazards. Even a tiny spark can be more than enough to trigger a deadly fire. Store gasoline and other fuels, as well as paints, pain thinners and solvents away from the generator.
  5. Be sure the generator isn’t too close to wood or flammable structures while in operation, and also be sure to clear away any branches, brush, paper products, boxes or other debris that could catch fire.
  6. Make sure your generator is properly serviced and maintained. Your owner’s manual will provide complete instructions for the proper way to care for your generator, including how to store it when not in use, how to check and replace fluids, and how to check other components for signs of wear and tear. If your generator hasn’t been used for some time, check the fluids and components prior to starting it up, and consider running it every so often during future periods of storage to keep it lubricated. You may also want to consider using a fuel stabilizer during long periods of non-use, and always protect your unit with a cover once it’s completely cooled down after operation.
  7. Never repair or service your generator while it’s running or immediately following operation while it’s still hot. Generator components can become extremely hot, which can lead to serious burns if the unit is handled while it’s operating or immediately afterward. Wait until the unit is completely cool and always unplug it before servicing or repairing it.




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