Having a generator can be a real asset during the winter, when snowfall, frigid temperatures, and icy conditions increase the likelihood of electrical emergencies such as power outages. Generators can help you weather the storm until a power outage is resolved, but it’s important to know how to operate one safely in order to avoid generator problems. Generator safety is critical for protecting your home and family!
At Douthit Electrical, our experienced electricians understand just how intimidating the idea of a power outage caused by a winter storm can be. If you have questions or concerns about your generator or are considering getting one, don’t hesitate to call us! Our top notch electrical emergency and safety services includes generator maintenance, so you can rely on us to fix any generator problems and help you become more knowledgeable about generator safety.
Here are three common winter generator issues and what you can do to avoid them.
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning is an odorless, tasteless and highly poisonous gas produced by burning certain kinds of fuel, such as propane and natural gas, which are two of the most common fuels used to power generators. Therefore, it is critical to make sure you always use your generator safely. Never use a generator indoors, even in the basement or garage. When placing it outside, make sure it’s a minimum of 10 feet away from any doors or windows, including your neighbors! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidental carbon monoxide poisoning accounts for at least 430 deaths each year, so be sure your home is equipped with carbon monoxide monitors and detectors.
Electrical shock hazards
Home generators are often used in icy and wet conditions, such as rain and snow, so it’s important to be especially careful as the risk of electrical shocks dramatically increases in these conditions. Be sure to take extra safety precautions! Always store your generator under a flat, dry and covered area when not in use, such as in the garage. Never store your generator in a depression where water can collect over time. Be sure your generator is properly grounded and always wear boots or shoes with rubber soles when operating it.
Power cord issues
Many people use extension cords to run power to their generators, but this can pose additional hazards. Aside from tripping on icy ground, extension cords run through windows provide opportunities for toxic CO gas to seep into your home. If you must do this, seal the space with duct tape to prevent fumes from entering. Never use a damaged or frayed extension cord! You may even want to consider having a transfer switch installed to avoid power cord problems with generator altogether.
Your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities, so let Douthit Electrical help you with any and all your generator problems in Charlotte!
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