With the extreme heat as well as turbulent weather we experience regularly here in Chicagoland, it can challenge the most stable power sources. Air conditioners run constantly, putting pressure on the local utility. Power outages can occur, causing inconvenience, damage, and expense.
“A home generator is a good solution to avoid those problems,” says David Ariano, “But before you fire up the generator, do you understand its safety risks?”
Ariano continues, “Here are five safety tips for you to consider.”
1. Never use generators indoors. Running a generator in a closed space, even with opened doors and windows, is extremely dangerous. Portable generators give off deadly carbon monoxide. This odorless gas causes the illness and death of hundreds of individuals annually. Do keep generators outside at a minimum of 20 feet from your windows and doors.
2. Protect your generator from moist and wet weather. Don’t set your generator where water pools; put it under an open canopy to protect the generator during wet weather. To avoid the risk of electrical shock, don’t touch your generator with wet hands.
3. Prevent “Back Feed.” Back feed happens when power from your generator feeds back into your utility’s electrical system, potentially endangering linemen working on downed power lines. Do not plug your generator into wall outlets; do plug your appliances, using heavy-duty extension cords, into the generator’s outlet. Ensure your generator has a transfer switch to prevent back feed.
4. Make sure you wait to plug in appliances. Turn on your generator before plugging appliances into it. Then turn on appliances and lights one at a time to keep from overloading your generator. Also, wait until your generator cools before refueling it.
5. Always keep your children and pets away from your generator. During operation, a generator’s parts can become very hot to the touch. Keep children and pets out of harm’s way and away from the generator.
“And Remember, your generator is a temporary solution to a power outage,” advises Ariano. “Prioritize which appliances you need to plug into your generator, and do use it safely.”
Ravinia Plumbing & Heating Co., Inc.
1580 Old Skokie Valley Rd, Highland Park, IL 60035
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