Atlantic Canada is no stranger to the fury of hurricane season. When storms knock out power, generators can be a lifesaver. However, using them safely is paramount. In this blog, we’ll provide you with essential safety tips for using a generator during a storm to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Don’t Run in Enclosed Spaces or Indoors
Running a generator indoors or in enclosed spaces is a deadly mistake. Generators emit carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that can be fatal when inhaled. Always place your generator in a well-ventilated outdoor area, at least 20 feet away from your home, and ensure that exhaust fumes are directed away from doors and windows. Using a CO detector is also a smart precaution
Avoid Running in Rain or Wet Conditions
Generators and water don’t mix. Exposure to rain or wet conditions can lead to electrical shorts, fires, or even electrocution. Protect your generator by using a canopy or generator tent to shield it from rain while ensuring proper ventilation. Never touch your generator with wet hands or when standing on a wet surface.
Before Refuelling, Turn Off and Let Cool
Refuelling a hot generator can be dangerous. Before adding more fuel, turn off the generator and let it cool for at least 15-20 minutes. Spilled fuel can ignite on hot engine parts, leading to fires or explosions. Use a flashlight to check the fuel level, and keep a fire extinguisher nearby as a precaution.
Check the Cord for Cuts or Tears
The power cord connecting your generator to appliances or your home’s electrical panel is vital. Regularly inspect it for cuts, tears, or exposed wires. Damaged cords can lead to electric shock or fires. If you notice any damage, replace the cord immediately. Always use heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cords to connect your appliances.
In times of storm-related power outages, generators can provide essential electricity, but their improper use can lead to disaster. Following these guidelines ensures that your generator remains a reliable source of power without jeopardizing your safety during hurricane season in Atlantic Canada.
Stay safe and prepared during the storm season!