Safety First! How to stay safe with power generators?

How to stay safe with power generatorsPower generators are considered to be heavy machinery, which means that they can be very unsafe when not treated with the utmost care and caution. While they are incredibly helpful, there are a variety of hazards which need to be monitored throughout the use of generators.

To ensure that everyone stays safe when power generators are in use you should follow these guidelines:
Electrical Hazards

Power generators are used to create electricity, therefore it is unsurprising that shock and electrocution are some of the most common injuries sustained as a result of their use. To prevent this type of accident, always ensure that all appliances are connected properly and that the generator itself has been earthed. It is advisable to refrain from using generators in wet conditions, if you do need it when it’s raining then try to protect it from moisture by covering it with a canopy.

Never use a generator inside

As generators are burning fuel to create electricity they can produce a large amount of carbon monoxide (CO), which is dangerous and potentially deadly. If power generators are used in a closed space then the CO will quickly build up and, with no ventilation, can stay in the air for hours and sometimes even days even if the generator isn’t being used. Try to use your generator a safe distance away from your home to prevent CO entering the building – if you start feeling sick, dizzy or weak while the generator is on then leave the house and get to fresh air straight away.

Safe fuel storage

Whether your power generator runs off petrol, diesel or propane, you need to ensure that the fuel is being properly stored. All these sources are very flammable and need to be kept in a cool, dry place away from fuel-burning appliances and surfaces that get very hot. Before refuelling your power generator make sure that it is turned off and has been allowed to cool down. If you accidentally spill any fuel on the generator while filling up, allow time for it to evaporate before starting up the machine.

Ensure the generator is connected properly

If you’re using the power generator to give your home or another building a source of electricity then you need to ensure that they are properly wired in. This should be left to a qualified electrician, as working with the buildings’ mains can be very dangerous if done incorrectly. Don’t try to power the building by plugging the generator straight into a wall outlet – this is referred to as ‘back feeding’ and is extremely hazardous. By ‘back feeding’ you run the risk of blowing the generator, severing the electricity to the entire neighbourhood and endangering any utility workers in the area. You need to ensure that everything is done properly, as the consequences could be disastrous – a professional electrician will install the power generator in accordance to all health and safety rules, giving you peace of mind.

Image Credit: By DMahalko at en.wikipedia [Public domain] from Wikimedia Commons

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