Portable electric generators can be a huge money saver and even a life saver during a power outage. But it is extremely important to follow these safety guidelines when using one:
First and foremost, NEVER run the generator indoors, or in an inclosed space where the Carbon Monoxide will build up to dangerous levels. Run the generator on a dry surface, under an open structure.
Never connect a generator directly to your home's wiring unless your home has been wired for generator use. This can cause backfeeding power down the power lines and can electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, includeing the line workers making repairs. Have a licensed electrician install the equipment necessary to safely connect a generator to your home.
If your generator and home aren't wired to allow direct connection, then always plug appliances directly to the generator.
Use heavy duty, outdoor rated extension cords. Make sure the extension cords are free from cuts, tears and the plug has 3 prongs. Remember, an overloaded cord can cause a fire or damage to your appliance.
Ensure your generator is properly grounded.
Never overload the generator. Only power essential equipment or appliances, and only for the length of time it is needed.
Turn off all the equipment powered by the generator before shutting it down.
Always keep a fully charged fire extinguisher nearby.
Never refuel the generator while it is running.
Read and adhere to the manufacturers instructions for safe operation. Never cut corners when it comes to your safety.
Test your generator regularly. Monthly to Biannually will ensure it will be ready when you need it.