When the power goes out, it’s important to be prepared. A backup power supply can keep your home running and ensure you’re not left in the dark. However, following safety guidelines when using a backup power supply is critical. Whether you have a portable generator or a whole-house backup system, there are some important safety tips to keep in mind.
You don’t want to put your home at risk. With these backup power safety guidelines, you can
keep your home safe and running smoothly even when the power is out.
Never Operate a Generator Indoors
Operating a generator indoors can lead to deadly carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Always operate your generator outdoors, far away from open windows, doors, and vents. The fumes from a generator can be deadly in just minutes. It’s tempting to run a portable generator in areas like a garage, carport, or even a covered patio, but the dangers are just not worth it.
Professional electricians at https://callmilestone.com/arlington/electrical/ note that if you must operate a generator in such spaces, be sure to use a battery-operated CO detector and never use the generator in an attached garage, even with the door open. CO detectors can save your life by alerting you to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home.
Make Sure Your Generator Is Properly Grounded
One of your generator’s most important safety features is the grounding system. This system
helps prevent electrocution by redirecting any stray electrical current into the ground instead of your body. Without a proper grounding system, you could be seriously injured or even killed if you come in contact with live electrical wires.
To make sure your generator is properly grounded, you should have a qualified electrician install a grounding rod at the time of purchase. This rod should be made of copper or galvanized steel and driven into the ground to a depth of at least eight feet. Once the rod is in place, your
electrician will attach a copper wire to it and then connect the other end of the wire to your
You should also have a qualified electrician inspect your grounding system regularly to ensure that it is in good working order. If you notice any damage to the system or have any concerns about its safety, you should contact an electrician immediately.
Never Refuel a Generator While It’s Running
This is extremely dangerous and can lead to fires, explosions, or serious injury. Always shut off the generator and let it cool down before refueling. Refueling your portable or standby generator should be done outdoors, away from any open flames or sparks. If you have a fuel-powered generator, it’s vital to have extra fuel on hand in case of an emergency.
Store the generator fuel in a cool, dry place and use appropriate containers that are clearly
labeled. Inspect the fuel regularly and replace it if it’s been stored for more than six months. Be
sure to use the type of fuel specified by the manufacturer. If you’re not sure, consult your
owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer directly.
Keep Your Generator Dry and in a Well-Ventilated Area
Ensure your generator is protected from the elements by keeping it dry. Exposing your
generator to moisture can damage the engine and electrical components, so keeping it covered when not in use is vital. When you’re not using your portable generator, store it properly in a dry, well-ventilated area, such as a shed or garage. Whole-house generators often come with waterproof and weather-resistant housing so that you can keep them outside without worry.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions for Maintenance and Operation
Finally, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the maintenance and operation of your backup power system. This will ensure the system is always ready to go when you need it and continues to operate safely. Regularly check for signs of corrosion, wear, or damage, and keep the area around the system clean and free of debris. Consult a qualified technician for
assistance if you have any questions or concerns about your backup power system.