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A generator is something everyone should keep in their home or workplace in case of a disaster. It can keep the lights and fans running as well as other necessities such as refrigerators, freezers, microwaves, stoves, air conditioners, washers and dryers, televisions and computers. After a disaster, a generator can be used to run your outdoor power equipment when cleanup is needed.

 Generator Safety Tips

Having a portable generator can make the days after a storm much more bearable. However, they can be hazardous. Generator safety and proper handling is imperative for everyone who operates one.

  • Because it runs on gas (which can cause carbon monoxide poisoning), never operate a generator indoors, whether it’s in your home, garage, basement or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly. It is also important not to install the generator beside your home, or in your garage or carport because the carbon monoxide can accumulate in the attic or extra roof space of your home. Be sure to keep the generator dry. Only operate it on a dry surface under an open, canopy-like structure. Before touching the generator, make sure your hands are dry.
  • Before refilling the gas tank, turn it off and let it cool. It should not be refilled while the generator is running. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite and cause a fire. Check your oil every time you re-fuel and store any extra fuel away from any fuel-burning appliances. 
  • Plug appliances directly into a generator starting with the largest electric appliance first; then plug in other items, one at a time or use a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cord. Make sure the entire extension cord is free of cuts or tears and the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin. Grounding the generator is recommended to help prevent electrical shock. NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet. The only safe way to connect a generator to house wiring is to have a qualified electrician install a power transfer switch. 
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