Generator Safety Tips
Generator Safety Tips

How to safely operate a generator

Generator Safety Tips

While generators provide a reliable power source, their safe operation requires careful adherence to guidelines. By placing generators in well-ventilated areas, following manufacturer instructions, and ensuring electrical care, you can safely power your home or business.

Place in Ventilated Areas

Perhaps the most important part of usage is setting up your generator outdoors in well-ventilated areas to prevent the accumulation of toxic fumes like carbon monoxide. Placing them in enclosed spaces, such as garages or basements, can lead to the buildup of this colorless, odorless gas, posing a severe health risk to those nearby, including death.

Proper Maintenance

If you own a generator, be sure to conduct regular maintenance checks as they are imperative to keep generators in optimal condition. When you rent a generator, ask the company how they maintain the equipment, including inspecting fuel levels, oil levels, and filters. Neglecting maintenance can result in malfunctions or breakdowns when the generator is needed most. At Massive Equipment, our generators are always in top condition and are checked before each rental.

Electrical Safety

Electrical safety is another critical aspect. Generators should be properly grounded to prevent electrical shocks. Using appropriate extension cords, avoiding overloading the outlets, and following electrical safety practices are essential steps to minimize the risk of accidents.

How to safely operate a generator

  • Planning
    • Familiarize yourself and others with the location of emergency shut-off switches.
    • Keep generators out of reach of children.
    • Establish clear communication regarding emergency shut-off procedures if others will be responsible for managing the machine.
  • Location
    • Set up generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas.
    • Avoid placing generators in enclosed spaces like garages or inside of the home.
    • Keep the generator dry, operating on a dry surface under an open structure.
    • Do not expose to rain and do not operate a generator in wet conditions to avoid electrical hazards.
  • Connections
    • Never connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring unless it’s wired for generator use.
    • If you’re connecting the generator to your home’s electrical panel, a transfer switch is crucial. It prevents backfeeding, protects utility workers, and ensures a safe and seamless transition between utility and generator power.
    • Plug appliances directly into generators; consult a licensed electrician for proper home connections.
    • Use heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cords to prevent fires or equipment damage.
    • Ensure proper grounding and avoid overloading the generator.
  • Fumes
    • Install carbon monoxide detectors in the vicinity of the generator.
    • Be vigilant about the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as dizziness, nausea, and headaches.
  • Storing
    • Turn off equipment before shutting down the generator.
    • Allow the generator to cool down before storing it after use to prevent burns or other accidents.
    • Store fuel in approved containers in a cool, well-ventilated place.
  • Fueling and fire prevention
    • Refuel the generator when it is turned off and has had time to cool to prevent accidental fires.
    • Have a fully charged fire extinguisher nearby and never fuel a generator while operating.
    • Keep a safe distance between the generator and flammable materials.