When a power outage occurs, your backup generator can keep the lights on and allow you to run essentials like your HVAC system. Following generator safety practices is crucial, though, to avoid hazards like fires, electrocution or exposure to lethal carbon monoxide (CO). To stay safe, always consult your generator manufacturer’s guidelines.
Follow these wise practices:
- To avoid deadly CO buildup inside your home, don’t operate a generator anywhere indoors, in your garage or basement, or outside near doors, windows or exhaust vents. Have fully-functional carbon monoxide detectors in your home as well, and test them monthly.
- Limit the likelihood of shocks and electrocution by placing the generator on a dry surface that’s underneath a canopy where it’s not exposed to rain. Additionally, don’t touch the unit with wet hands.
- Always use the fuel type recommended by your generator’s manufacturer, and consult the local fire department about how much fuel you’re allowed to keep on hand.
- Only store fuel in approved containers, and keep it outdoors in a locked, sheltered area. To prevent accidental fires, never store generator fuel near combustion devices like a space or water heater.
- Before refilling the generator with fuel, shut if off and let it cool down so accidentally-spilled gas can’t ignite on the engine.
- Don’t plug a generator into a regular wall outlet in an attempt to power your home. This hazardous practice is known as “backfeeding,” and it puts everyone in the area at serious risk of electrocution.
- If you have a 5,000 watt-rated generator or larger, get a transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician. This switch allows you to safely connect your generator to your home’s electrical system, and most display a readout to help you monitor wattage use.
- When connecting a smaller generator to power items in your home, always use a heavy-duty, outdoor extension cord equipped with a grounding prong. Also, make sure your cord has an amp or watt rating that matches the combined load of all the items you’re plugging in.
To learn more about generator safety for your Coastal Bend home, contact us at CCAC.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about your HVAC system, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.