You never know when an emergency can happen and you will need back-up generated power. The question is whether or not you are prepared. Many times generators are not used regularly, so they can need maintenance and you may not be as familiar with yours as you should.
Here are some safety tips for you to use as a checklist when firing up your generator and for general maintenance.
- Read and follow all manufacturer operating instructions.
- Make sure the generator is properly grounded.
- Never plug a portable electric generator into a wall outlet or connect directly to a home’s wiring. This can energize utility power lines and injure you or others working nearby. Electrical back feed also can damage the generator and home electrical equipment.
- Don’t overload the generator and plug in more appliances than the generator is rated to handle.
- Use shop-type electrical cords designed for heavier outdoor use to connect appliances. Many generators are equipped with twist-lock connects to reduce accidental disconnections due to vibrations.
- Always keep the generator outside in a dry, protected area, away from windows or air intakes where deadly exhaust fumes can enter living spaces.
- Turn off generator and allow cooling before refueling.
- Before shutting down a generator, turn off and unplug all appliances and equipment being powered by the generator.