There are three primary hazards you will need to avoid when operating a generator.
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust: Never use a generator inside your home, garage, crawl space, or other enclosed areas. Fatal fumes can build up, that neither a fan nor open doors and windows can provide enough fresh air.Only use your generator outdoors, away from open windows, vents, or doors.
Use a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector in the area you’re running the generator. If the carbon monoxide detector alarms, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive.
- Electric Shock or Electrocution: If you have to use extension cords, be sure they are of the grounded type and are rated for the application. Coiled cords can get extremely hot; always uncoil cords and lay them in flat open locations.Never plug your generator directly into your home outlet. If you are connecting a generator into your home electrical system, have a qualified electrician install a Power Transfer Switch.Generators produce powerful voltage – Never operate under wet conditions. Take precautions to protect your generator from exposure to rain.
- Fire: Gasoline and its vapors are extremely flammable. Allow the generator engine to cool at least 2 minutes before refueling and always use fresh gasoline. If you do not plan to use your generator in 30 days, don’t forget to stabilize the gas with fuel stabilizer. Maintain your generator according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for peak performance and safety.Never operate the generator near combustible materials.