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Dos and Don'ts of Generator Use

By Pingston Electric, LLC, Aug 29 2017 07:22PM

Portable generators come in handy during long term power outages. However, if you don't know how to use them properly, they can be dangerous.

Ensure that the generator you purchase is the right size for your needs, and is only used to power essential equipment or appliances.

No matter what size, generators should always be installed by a licensed electrician and connected to your home's wiring through a special transfer switch. Here is more information on what a transfer switch does.

Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as "backfeeding." This is an extremely dangerous practice that presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household circuit protection devices.

Never touch a generator if you are wet or are standing in water or on damp ground. Always dry your hands before touching the unit to avoid electric shock.

Never refuel a hot generator or one that is running. Hot engine parts or exhaust can ignite gasoline.

Never use a generator indoors. Opening doors and windows or using fans WILL NOT prevent CO build up in the home. Did you know that one 5.5kW generator can produce exhaust containing as much carbon monoxide as six idling vehicles?

You should always have a battery operated carbon monoxide alarm to be alerted if carbon monoxide levels become dangerous.

Because you can not see, smell or taste CO, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning. Symptoms of CO poisoning can be similar to common illnesses, such as a cold, flu or food poisoning. These include:

• Dizziness

• Headache

• Fainting

• Nausea

• Weakness

• Shortness of Breath

If you experience any of these symptoms, get outside to fresh air and call 911 immediately.

So now that you know a little about generators, let us help you get storm ready by calling us today for a free quote 321-773-4651.

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