Portable generators are useful during power outages. However, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards.
- Generators should be operated in well ventilated locations outdoors away from all doors, windows and vent openings.
- The generator should be located so that exhaust fumes cannot enter the home through windows, doors or other building openings.
- Install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms in your home according to the manufacturer’s installations instructions. Should CO enter your home and pose a risk, an alarm will sound to warn you.
- Do not refuel the generator while it is running. Turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling.
- Never store fuel for your generator in your home. Gasoline and other flammable liquids should be stored outside of living areas in proper safety containers.
- Plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy duty outdoor-rated extension cord. Make sure the cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin. Do not try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet.
- If you want to connect the generator to the house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install a properly rated transfer switch in accordance with the National Electrical Code and all applicable state and local electrical codes.
< Some Content Courtesy of National Fire Protection Association >