In view of many current accidents in connection with generators, the topic of generator safety is playing an increasingly important role. Nowadays portable generators can be used in many different ways and are enjoying increasing popularity! Whether for camping, gardening and construction work or for the sound of a party. But even in the event of a power outage, a generator can offer security.
With the easy-to-handle generators, all kinds of electrical equipment such as mobile heaters, music systems, pumps, refrigeration units or even your party lighting can be safely supplied with electricity.
One should be aware, however, that the (improper) operation of a generator poses considerable risks. Certain precautions must be taken when operating generators.
Unfortunately, many generator owners are not fully aware of these risks. Therefore we want to help you with this contribution to get to know the necessary safety precautions to be taken when using portable generators.
Generator Safety: Tips for the Safe Use of Generators
- Under no circumstances use fuel-powered engine equipment such as generators, gasoline lawnmowers, or chainsaws indoors, in garages, or in basements. The combustion process inside the engine produces flammable and toxic vapors such as carbon monoxide (also called CO). This leads to an increased risk of fire, explosion and poisoning in closed or poorly ventilated rooms!
- Never use your portable generator under wet or very humid conditions. Generators can generate very high electrical voltages which, in combination with moisture, can be life-threatening for the user. Protect your generator from rain, snow, and other moisture. You can avoid this, for example, by using a suitable cover for your generator. In places that are sandy or very dusty, it is better not to use your generator. The generator can be damaged by sand or dust penetrating these air intakes and become an unnoticed source of danger.
- Avoid permanent overload operation. A quiet and smooth running generator has a much longer lifetime than a generator that has to work permanently at its limit. You should, therefore, plan a buffer of approx. 20 percent for your required continuous output. In this way, you avoid overloading your generator and damaging connected devices as well as the generator itself.
- Gasoline and diesel as well as their vapors are easily flammable and should therefore not be filled while the engine is still hot. You should therefore always allow the engine to cool down before filling the tank in order to avoid possible burns during refueling.
- Do not use old fuels – When refueling your generator, always make sure that the fuel you use is stable and stored properly. Fuels that have not been stored in an airtight place can lose their ignition power and damage the engine of the generator set. How long gasoline, diesel, and propane are durable? See in our post.
- If you do not use your diesel or gasoline generator for a long time, you should never forget to fill it with a fuel stabilizer. This prevents the remaining fuel, which is still in the tank of the generator from getting bad.
- In order to ensure the necessary safety for the operation of your generator in the long term, follow the maintenance schedule of the respective manufacturer. As a rule, this should be enclosed with the purchased gasoline or diesel generator and specifies how and at what intervals you should service and maintain your generator.
- To avoid accidents and injuries caused by fire or explosion, keep your generator away from flammable materials or fuel canisters during operation. In any case, gasoline, diesel and other flammable materials should ideally be stored safely in a secure hazardous materials container during the time they are not in use
- When using an extension cord in conjunction with a portable generator, be sure to ensure that the product you are using is a grounded cable designed for that particular use. Cables without grounding may cause damage to the unit and connected equipment.
- Extension cables connected to a generator should always be unwound completely. Rolled cables can become extremely hot and, in the worst case, cause a short-circuit to the connected equipment.
- To ensure trouble-free functionality, plugs and cables should be checked for cuts and cracks before use. Even small material defects can cause considerable damage if they are overlooked in the long term and not repaired.
- Under no circumstances should generators be connected directly to the domestic power supply. If you are thinking about a UPS and considering connecting your generator to your home’s power supply, you should hire a qualified electrician to assist with the installation of a standard transfer switch.
Most generator accidents are related to ignorance and improper use of the equipment. If you follow this list of safety precautions, nothing should stand in the way of the safe operation of your generator and you and your family can continue to enjoy your generator in the future.