The Five Dos and Don'ts of Running a Generator: Safe Space

As a result of the winter storm season, millions of homeowners nationwide must deal with rain, snow, wind, and, in the worst cases, blackouts. When losing electricity, many homeowners may find that having a generator, a stocked pantry, and a survival pack might save their lives.

However, using a generator improperly might have negative, even fatal, effects.
In times of blackouts or power outages, generators are an excellent method to keep your home powered so you can use appliances like fans, heaters, and lighting. However, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Be ready by being aware of what a generator can and cannot be used for. Here are some pointers for safely operating one.

Do keep safety in mind.

When it's extremely cold outside, staying warm can seem more important than staying safe. But whenever using a generator, exercise caution. Before turning the generator on for the first time, carefully read the handbook. Pay strict attention to the manual's location specifications.

A minimum of 20 feet should separate generators from your home or other structures. Also, make sure children and pets are kept well away from generators.

Before starting your generator, turn off the main power supply in your house. Turn off your gas generator when it's time to refuel, and wait until it has cooled completely before adding extra fuel.

Don't operate your generator indoors.

Portable gas generators ought to be set up outside in a flat, dry area. Because the carbon monoxide emissions from generators are too strong for fans or open windows to adequately ventilate the space, they should only ever be operated outside. Make sure your generator is not close to any doors or windows when running it outside.

Use modern extension cables instead of conventional power strips.

Not all conventional indoor extension cords work with generators. Use an outdoor-rated cord that can handle the power your generator produces if you need to lengthen the length of the generator's cord. When using a power strip, stay away from plugging in large appliances like generators because they might cause the strip to overheat and catch fire.

Do have battery-powered carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

Since carbon monoxide cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled, it can remain undetected in a room for hours, posing a serious risk to residents long before they are aware of its presence. Verify the functionality of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms before starting your generator. Even some generator models have carbon monoxide sensors.

Don't forget to perform regular maintenance, such as changing the oil.
Keep in mind to clean the oil and air filter, flush the cooling system, and replace the spark plugs once a year, in addition to storing your generator in a dry place. Additionally, you should clean the generator every few months and operate it for roughly 20 minutes to charge the battery. Making a note to change the oil and do routine maintenance will keep you safe and ready because you don't want to be in an emergency circumstance only to learn that your generator has a problem.

Don't forget to verify your generator's insurance coverage.

Although a generator is an expensive item, you need to make sure you are protected in case something were to happen to it.

Generators frequently fall within the home appliance and equipment coverage of your home insurance policy. The majority of plans will pay for theft- or fire-related damage to generators. You may be able to add equipment breakdown to some plans, which would pay for the cost of generator repairs.

In order to find out what to anticipate in the event that your generator needs to be repaired or replaced, make sure to contact your insurance agent.

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