How to use a Generator Safely

5 generator safety tips you need to know.

When a hurricane, flood, or other natural disaster starts to bear down, people get serious about shopping for a generator in case the power goes out. Don’t wait until you need a backup power supply. Buy a new generator now and be ready for anything.

This is a big purchase, however, and there are numerous options for home generators as well as tips you need to know before you try to use one.

If you’re considering buying a generator or already have one and need a refresher on how they work, these are the 5 generator safety tips you need to know.

Rule 1: Never Use a generato r indoors.

Do not use a generator in the garage, even with the door open several inches. For one thing, a prevailing air flowing into the garage would push the carbon monoxide exhaust out of the generator into the house. But even without it, you still risk fumes intruding into the house. So do not do this. sometimes. Clearly, the verandahs are also off-limits in the form of the cellar.

Well out of the house, use a generator. Run an outdoor-rated extension cord from the machine to the devices you want to power or use the generator cord to connect to the transfer switch in this way.

The switch prevents the generator from feeding outside the house and back from the grid, a fault that could kill a utility worker. A license switch must be installed by a licensed electrician.

Rule 2: Never backfeed.

Back feeding means to make an extension cord with prongs at both ends. People then take this “hillbilly extension cord” and plug it into the generator on one end and an outlet in the house on the other end. Everything on the same circuit as the outlet is electrified. It’s a bad idea for a number of reasons. But the most deadly reason is that people often forget to throw the main breaker on the service panel and send electricity from the electrified circuit outside the house, onto the grid and through a transformer, which steps up the electricity (instead of stepping it down as it would normally). Now the high-voltage electricity moves out onto the grid. A utility worker coming to repair the grid can be injured or killed by that electricity.

Rule 3: Don’t use a damaged or undersized cord.

People put their money into buying a generator and often neglect the cord. Don’t use a damaged cord with electrical tape all over it and don’t use an undersized cord, especially one designed for indoor use.

Rule 4: Don’t fuel the generator when it’s hot, and don’t keep a gas container near the generator.

Store the fuel inside, like in a shed, not next to the generator. Again, this should be common sense, but people overlook it. A generator cools down quickly once you shut it off, and that’s especially true when the machine is used outside in the winter. All it takes is a small fuel spill on a red hot generator to cause a fire. And the power’s already out, and you have enough problems without having a house fire.

Rule 5: Don’t neglect your fuel supply. Use a fuel stabilizer.

Modern fuel chemically degrades rapidly unless you add a fuel stabilizer to it. Bring the stabilizer with you to the gas station and just add it when you fill-up the gas tank to ensure it’s properly mixed with the gas.

And while we’re on this topic of fuel, one of the safest and most convenient things you can do for yourself when it comes to fueling a generator is to treat yourself to a decent gas can, especially one with an integral spout.


In this article, we’ll discuss how to use a Generator Safely. Would you prefer to require extra details relating to our New Generator and Used Generators? Contact us. Our team at EO energy looks forward to hearing from you.

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