Backup Power Generator Safety Tips

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.

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