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How to Use Your Portable Generator Safely

You like to be prepared. You don’t want to get stuck without supplies in a storm or a charge in a blackout. You’ve stocked up on canned goods, put together first-aid kits, developed a family plan for every eventuality, even got a Honda Generator to keep everything juiced up. But do you really know how to run that generator safely? To bring your preparedness to its peak, keep in mind these power precautions.

Keep It Outside

While it may seem like running your generator in a spot where it’s protected from the elements, like your garage or basement, would be the best way to keep it operating optimally, an enclosed space is actually the last place you want to be using it. Generators produce carbon monoxide along with all that electricity, and the former will bring you down before you can get much use out of the latter. Always run portable generators outdoors in a clean, dry, well-ventilated place where no fumes can make it inside. Keep carbon monoxide detectors on hand just in case.

Fuel It Carefully

Portable home generators use gas to create electricity, which means you have to stock up on fuel that’s a fire hazard along with your peas and corn. Make sure to store gasoline in a place that is cool, well-ventilated, and nowhere near flames. Never pour gasoline into your generator when it’s hot, and clean up any spills before running it again. The fire department probably has enough to do in a crisis situation without you creating additional conflagrations.

Plug Responsibly

So now that your generator’s running, how do you get the power from there to your refrigerator and lights and medical equipment and phones? Don’t try plugging the generator into your home’s electrical system. That risks overload and may even injure utility workers repairing wires outside. Instead, plug your items that need power into the generator. If you need extension cords to get that done, all of them should be heavy-duty and safe for outdoor use. Even if you’re chaining together cords to make it all the way to your indoor electricity-users, every cord ought to be similarly qualified for the job.

Being without electricity has become increasingly unthinkable in these modern days when we’re all so wired. Having a generator on hand is a great way to make sure no blackout or storm can take you down. Just be certain that the way you use that connection-saving device doesn’t wind up short-circuiting your family’s safety.

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Susan Paige

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