Hurricane season has begun and runs through November, which probably means you’ve been around the house, preparing yourself and your family for potentially severe weather. One of the most common items on the emergency preparedness to-do list should be to make sure your portable generator is in working order and ready for safe operation.
A portable generator can be an ideal secondary source of power, especially during power failures that accompany hurricanes and other severe storms. However, generators can be dangerous if they’re not used appropriately. Below are some safety tips to make sure you’re operating your generator properly:
- Never operate a generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed space
- Use carbon monoxide detectors in any enclosed spaces near the generator
- Do not connect generators directly to household wiring without an appropriate transfer switch installed
- Make sure your generator is properly grounded
- Make sure extension cords used with generators are rated for the load and are in good condition
- Do not overload the generator
- Plug the generator into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries
- Turn off all appliances powered by the generator before shutting down the generator itself
Some common hazards associated with using a generator can include:
- Shocks and electrocution from improper use of power or accidentally energizing other electrical systems
- Carbon monoxide from a generator’s exhaust
- Fires from improperly refueling a generator or inappropriately storing the fuel for a generator
- Noise and vibration hazards
During any weather event, CPS Energy crews will be working night and day to make sure your power is restored as quickly and safely as possible. If you must use a generator to power your home for any length of time, be sure to follow the above tips to keep your family safe.