A backup generator can become a lifesaver when you need an emergency source of power. It allows you to keep your household items running for safety and comfort. However, they need to be operated safely because they pose a hazard to you and your family if you don’t. Our team from Comfort Systems has provided this overview to ensure you use a backup power generator correctly every time.

Installing The Generator Correctly

Your first order of business is to ensure you know how to install the generator properly. Carefully read all your instructions on the manual or call a professional to help establish the unit. There’s always a possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning if you disregard the proper installation requirements. A generator should also never be directly connected to any electrical system. Instead, an electrician should be hired to install a transfer switch so you don’t have to use hazardous extension cords that could cause somebody to get electrocuted.

Properly Using A Backup Power Generator

No matter if you’re using a portable or stationary generator, the exhaust fumes can be deadly because they contain extreme levels of carbon monoxide (C0). So here are some easy but practical tips to follow when you’re operating your backup power generator.

  • Familiarize yourself with the operating procedures in your owner’s manual. It’s a good idea that at least two adults know how to work it correctly.
  • Generators should be well-placed outside the home, away from any doors, vents, or windows where dangerous exhaust can leak inside.
  • Even if it’s for a short time, don’t operate a generator in an enclosed space, even if you’re using it to get more airflow through a ceiling fan.
  • Carbon monoxide is an odorless and invisible gas that can be deadly. So although you’re taking safety precautions, you still should have CO detectors throughout the home. Remember, they should be placed on walls about five to six feet above the floor because carbon monoxide is lighter than air.

How To Fuel Safely 

Just like a lawnmower or vehicle, never add fuel to it while it’s hot. If you’ve been using it for several hours or more, it’s imperative to turn the unit off and let it cool completely before adding any fuel. You pose a severe risk for an intense fire if you add fuel while it’s hot.

How To Pick The Right Generator

Homeowners should always be aware of the kind of generator they will use for their property. You should first assess the power that you would need should you have an outage. You’ll need one that produces more than enough amps. Most of the appliances that you use around the house need an initial surge of power to get going, so you need to keep that in mind.

Keep Your Generator Dry 

A generator needs to be kept dry to be safe for your family. You can pick up a waterproof tent at any local store to place over the generator. The placement of your unit should also be in an area that’s not prone to flooding or forming puddles underneath the generator.

Storage Of Fuel

Fuel of any kind, whether for your generator or any other gadget, should never be kept inside the house. Some examples include kerosene, gasoline, propane, or anything else that is a flammable substance. Secondly, they need to get stored in an appropriate container (never use glass), and they are far away from any devices that burn fuel.

Other Safety Considerations For Your Backup Power Generator

  • Always use dry hands when you’re operating a generator.
  • Go outside for fresh air if you are feeling weak or nauseous
  • Any extension cords that you use should be specially made to handle generators.
  • A generator works best when it’s about 20 feet away from your property.
  • Always call a professional to help if you’re unsure about any aspect of operating a generator.

Comfort Systems Can Help Ensure You’re Operating Your Generator Safely 

If you have questions about the proper use or installation of your backup power generator, we would love to help. While they can be quick resolution when you need power, generators also need to be operated with the highest level of care. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for a better assessment of what you need.