Backup Power Generator Safety Tips to Protect Your Family after a Power Outage
With recent windy storms affecting Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C. and Virginia and causing multi-day power outages for some people while temperatures dipped into the low teens, now is the time to think about getting a backup power generator. Depending on your power needs and budget, you can choose from a portable generator to a permanently installed model. You will be prepared when during a power outage to run major appliances and possibly heat depending on the type of generator.
If you’re using a portable power generator, you should learn how to use it safely to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and fire hazards. If you have a permanently installed generator using natural gas or propane fuel, you should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe usage and keep it properly maintained.
- Generators and fuel should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows, doors and attached garages.
- Install working carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill you, your family and pets.
- Keep your generator dry and protected from rain or flooding. Don’t touch a wet generator or devices connected to one to prevent electrical shock.
- Use only heavy duty extenstion cords to connect a generator to major appliances.
- Make sure to shutoff the generator and allow it to cool before refueling. Fuel spilled on a hot generator could ignite.
- Read and follow your generator’s instruction manual.