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FIVE SAFETY TIPS FOR GENERATORS
When the power’s knocked out for any reason, a backup generator can be a lifesaver. But generators can also pose serious dangers if operated improperly. Fortunately, it’s easy to stay safe by following a few generator safety guidelines:
- Always read your owner’s manual before operating your generator.
- Always run your generator outside with the exhaust directed away from openings to your home or nearby buildings. Keep your generator at least 20’ from any occupied building.
- Portable generators cannot be connected directly to a house to provide power without the use of a manual transfer switch. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can back-feed onto the power lines connected to your home and injure neighbors or utility workers. An electrician will need to install a transfer switch to wire the generator power to the household circuits you want to run.
- Generators need to be kept dry and should not be exposed to weather. Do not operate a portable generator in the rain or in standing water. Weather conditions can also damage exposed areas, especially electrical, and may cause the unit to be inoperable.
- Do not overload your generator. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for load capacity. Overloading can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics.
Editor's Note: This article orginally appeared on Built from Scratch on August 19, 2016.