For most of us, a backup generator can be a nice thing to have in case the power goes off. For some people, such as those dependent on life-support equipment, a backup generator is essential. Whether you need a generator or simply enjoy its convenience, it’s important to keep it in good working order and use it safely to get the maximum benefit from your investment.
- Know your generator! Read all the information on installation, safety, and maintenance, and follow instructions regarding maintenance and testing.
- When you need to use the generator, first, turn off the main power switch or breaker in your home.
- Use it wisely. Don’t overload the generator. It should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment. Overloading it will cause wear and tear and could present fire and safety hazards.
- Plug appliances directly into the generator itself. Don’t try to wire your home’s electrical system into the generator. The generator could feed power back into utility lines as power crews work to restore your electric service, putting those workers’ lives at risk!
- Take care when fueling your generator! Never try to refuel the unit while it’s operating. Avoid spilling gasoline or other fuels on hot components.
- Provide adequate ventilation and air cooling for the generator to prevent overheating and the accumulation of toxic exhaust fumes.