In this quick guide, let's talk about how to use portable generator safely for home backup power, so homeowners can easily and safely use them to power essential home appliances during a power outage.
Here are some tips to follow:
Safety Guidelines To Follow
Position generators outdoors
Keep generators positioned outside and at least 15 feet away from open windows and any enclosed or partially enclosed structure to prevent carbon monoxide build-up.
Keep the generator dry
Operate your generator on a dry surface under an open, canopy-like structure, and make sure your hands are dry before touching the generator. Do not use the generator in rainy or wet conditions.
Store all fuels in specifically designed containers in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place, away from all potential heat sources.
Top off the fuel
Always top it off before an emergency happens. Gasoline and diesel fuel stored for long periods may need added chemicals to keep them safe to use.
Ground the generator
Prevent shocks and electrocutions by grounding the generator. Please check out OSHA guidelines for grounding requirements for portable generators.
DO NOT plug the generator into a wall outlet
Make sure a professional electrician installs an approved automatic transfer switch so you can disconnect your home’s wiring from the utility system before you use the generator
NEVER power your house/business by plugging the generator into a wall outlet or the main electrical panel. It just doesn't work that way!
Cool off the generator before refueling
Don't overheat it!
Maintain generator regularly
Check storage tanks, pipes, and valves regularly for cracks and leaks, and replace damaged materials immediately.
Purchase a maintenance contract and schedule at least one maintenance service per year before the beginning of every severe weather season.
Disconnect primary AC power before turning on the generator
Before turning the generator on, MUST disconnect the normal source of power or properly configure the transfer switch to prevent sending accidental power back (when power restores) to the lines which could damage property or potentially kill power company works serving nearby lines.
Provide Sufficient Light
Light is the first priority to be able to see in low light and keep your family safe
Power up refrigerator, freezer, microwave, ovens, and other electrical cooking appliances.
Ensure no food spoilage, and there is no need to continually power these appliances if the generator has small power output.
A 1000 watt portable generator can do all of that for you.
If the power outage lasts for several hours, power management will allow you to utilize a small generator to power several appliances safely. Check out our quick guide on how much power your home devices consume.
If your home features a transfer switch unit, be sure to have a qualified electrician to install it along with the generator so it will kick on by itself during an outrage without any interruption.
The transfer switch unit can safely separate generator power from utility power and provide a safe way to connect and use a generator with a selected circuit inside the home, and it also prevents power from energizing power cords outside the home where power company workers might be performing maintenance.
Be sure to check out our guide on how your window blinds can provide backup solar power!