Safety Tips for Your Backup Generator from JP Heating & Air Conditioning in Kalamazoo
Whether you have a permanently installed or portable standby generator to help you during major power outages, there are some tips to keep in mind to ensure your safety. Generally speaking, the number one thing you should do to keep your family safe, is to follow your generator’s manufacturer instructions. You should also consult with a professional, like JP Heating & Air Conditioning in Kalamazoo, in order to determine which type of generator will work best for your needs.
If it is determined that a permanently installed standby generator is right for you, you need to make sure you have a transfer switch. A transfer switch stops back feed that can occur when energy goes from your generator to utility equipment that utility workers and linemen may be working on to restore your power. Any licensed electrician should know to install a transfer switch, but it’s always a good idea to make sure.
If it is determined a portable standby generator is right for you, JP Heating & Air Conditioning recommends the following safety tips:
- Operate it outdoors. Never operate a generator inside your home or garage as they produce carbon monoxide. Instead, make sure you operate your generator outdoors where there is enough ventilation.
- Don’t plug into the wall. Plugging your generator directly into the wall can cause dangerous back feed. You should also use heavy-duty, quality extension cords when connecting electronics and appliance to your generator.
- Run it before plugging into it. Turn your generator on and make sure it’s running before you begin plugging appliances and electronics into it. You should also make sure to turn the connected appliances on one at a time, so you do not overload the unit. You will also need to prioritize what you need to provide power to as generators are meant for temporary usage.
- Keep it dry. Like any electrical unit, generators can be dangerous when operated in wet or moist conditions. If it’s necessary to run your generator in wet conditions, you should protect it by operating it on a dry surface that will not form puddles or allow water to drain under the generator. This surface should be protected by a canopy that is open and well-ventilated. Do not touch your generator unless your hands are completely dry.
- Only add fuel while off. Your generator should be off and cool before you add fuel to it.
- Keep loved ones away. Portable generators can become very hot as they’re running. You should always make sure to keep children and pets away, so they do not get burned.
At JP Heating & Air Conditioning in Kalamazoo, we highly recommend you post these safety guidelines as well as basic operating instructions with your generator in order you keep yourself and your family safe.