an emergency a generator can become a lifeline but with the
added security of power, comes additional risks. When used
properly generators can be lifesaving tools, but when not
used properly generators can contribute to tragedies. Portable
generators should never be directly hooked into home wiring
for a number of reasons.
of the biggest risks associated with generators is Carbon
Monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless,
and deadly gas and can kill you before you even realize what
is happening. You cannot smell, see or taste carbon monoxide
gas. When runnning gasoline generators give off these deadly
carbon dioxide fumes. The generator's exhaust must be vented
outdoors, not in a garage or in an enclosed area. Generators
should never be operated in a home, garage, or other enclosed
building. Good ventilation for your generator is critical,
not only for your health reasons but also because overheating
will damage the generator.
a generator like you would any other engine. Never shut off
the generator when it is under load. Also never refuel a generator
when it is hot. Fueling should only be done when the engine
is off and cool. Always repair or service the generator with
the engine stopped and the starting system of the generator
disabled. On an automatic start generator, this means locking
out the switch gear and automatic transfer switch. This makes
sure that the generator does not try to start if an outage
occurs while you are conducting the generator service.
using a generator in wet conditions use extreme caution. The
output voltage of a generator can cause a fatal electric shock.
Treat the output cables or terminal box wiring of a generator
with respect. Keep all guards and shields in place to protect
the generator operator from moving parts.
storing fuel for generators it is important to be conscious
of fuel regulations. Stored fuel creates a fire and explosion
hazard. Under the National Fire Code, only 5 liters of fuel
can be stored in a residential dwelling, or 30 liters in a
garage or shed. Generator owners are encouraged to contact
their local Fire Department for the regulations in their specific
Francesca Black has worked in the emergency services field
for more than 10 years. More information available at Prepare
for Emergency http://www.prepare-for-emergency.com