Portable power generators can be a big help during extended power outages. It however can be a safety hazard too so proper use and professional installation is needed. (Photo Credits)
Portable power generators are very helpful especially during extended power outages. For some it is a relief especially during the dead of the night, or during hot days, or the biting cold winter.
There however are downsides to portable power generator use, especially when they are not utilized properly.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International has published an infographic on the statistics plus safe use of portable power generators. This is to support their educational campaign on safe generator use. Master Electrician
In their guide, they emphasized the importance of having the generator installed only by a licensed electrician contractor, to ensure safe use.
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“NEVER operate a generator INSIDE your home or in other enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces, including GARAGES. A generator is a TEMPORARY power source and should never be used as a permanent solution. NEVER connect generators directly to household wiring without first installing a TRANSFER SWITCH. This prevents backfeeding which could electrocute utility workers making repairs. Make sure your generator is properly grounded and used with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).”
Read the rest of the safety guidelines here.
The website Consumer Reports shared the same advice, emphasizing how important it is to not operate the generator indoors lest poisoning can occur. American Lighting Association
“Running a generator improperly can kill you in as little as 5 minutes if the concentration of carbon monoxide is high enough. The CPSC estimates that about 50 people die per year from carbon monoxide poisoning related to using a generator improperly. We want you to be safe.”
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Check out their list of safety tips to keep in mind here.
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The Missouri Department of Public Safety also published a comprehensive guide on Portable Power Generator Safety. In their guide they emphasized that portable generators are only for temporary use.
“You will not be able to use all appliances at once. You may have to turn off some appliances to avoid overload. And make sure any connected appliances are off before starting the generator. Generators should be used for emergency standby power ONLY and for short periods of time. Refrigerators do not need to run 24 hours a day to keep food fresh. Monitor the internal temperature, which should be kept at 40 degrees or below. Make sure you have working, properly installed carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. CO is an odorless, colorless gas produced by fuel combustion that can make you ill with flu-like symptoms and in extreme cases can be fatal.”
Check out the complete list of tips here.
Portable power generators are useful, but it has to be utilized properly to avoid fatal accidents.
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