Portable Generator Hazards
Portable generators provide the smartest solution in case of a power shortage. A small, gasoline powered portable generator provides you reliable power backups during any emergencies. In normal times it can be used to power electrical equipments. While outdoors, they help you to charge your cell phones.
Despite all these advantages, the portable generators are not free of safety hazards. You have to be very cautious while you are operating a portable generator. Every year, a considerable number of deaths take place due to mis-handling of portable generators. To be on the safe side, keep the following hazards in mind while handling a portable generator.
Carbon Monoxide Hazards Most of the portable generator related accidents occur due to Carbon Monoxide poisoning from generators used indoors or in enclosed spaces. In order to avoid the Carbon Monoxide poisoning follow these safety guidelines: - Since generator can produce large volume of Carbon monoxide very quickly and you can not even smell them, NEVER run the generator in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces. - In case you start feeling some uneasiness while operating the generator, get into fresh air without any delay. Any delay can prove to be fatal, as this gas can very quickly lead to full incapacitation and death. - In case, the symptoms seem to be serious, seek medical attention immediately. let the doctor know about suspected CO poisoning.
- If you suspect a CO leakage indoor, immediately inform the fire department and do not enter the house as long as the staffs do not declare the building safe for entering. - It is a good idea to install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with the generator. But make it a point to test the alarm frequently and replace dead batteries. Electrical Hazards Another basic hazard of portable generators relates to electric shock or electrocution. You have to keep in mind the following points to keep safe against shock and electrocution: - Always keep the generator dry and do not use it in wet conditions.
Always dry your hands before touching the unit. Also place it on a dry surface under certain kind of shade to protect it from moisture. - Plug the appliances directly into the generator.
If you are using an extension chord, make sure that it is heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord and it can well carry the connected appliance loads. - NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet; it puts into danger the utility workers as well as the neighbors served by the same utility transformer. Fire Hazards Fire is another big hazard related to portable generators. Here are some tips to prevent fire: - Store the fuel outside the living areas in safety containers and put a label on the container to identify this inflammable liquid.
- Take care to remove the spillages and always seal the container properly. Otherwise the invisible vapors can be fired up by pilot light of an appliance or by arcs from electric switches in the appliance. - Do not pour fuel when the generator is running; Let it cool down before you refuel it again.
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