Electric generators can provide you with piece of mind and convenience when there is a temporary loss of electric service during cold weather. Be aware that fire hazards are greatly increased in the winter because alternate heating sources often are used without following proper safety precautions.
Follow these safety guidelines when operating a generator:
Before installing a generator, be sure to properly disconnect from your utility electrical service. If possible, have your generator installed by a qualified electrician.
Run generators outside, downwind of structures. NEVER run a generator indoors. Deadly carbon monoxide gas from the generators exhaust can spread throughout enclosed spaces.
Install a carbon monoxide detector.
Fuel spilled on a hot generator can cause an explosion. If your generator has a detachable fuel tank remove it before refilling. If this is not possible, shut off the generator and let it cool before refilling.
Do not exceed the rated capacity of your generator. Most small, home-use portable generators produce 350 to 12,000 watts of power. Overloading your generator can damage it and the appliances connected to it, and may cause a fire.
Always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Keep children away from generators at all times.