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Portable Generator Safety

During a major storm when you lose electricity everyone that has a portable generator wants to get it hooked up and running as soon as possible.  Please keep the following in you mind as you get yours hooked up. 

Do Not ever put your generator in your house or garage.  Only run your generator in a well-ventilated area outside and use a generator weather cover that will keep it protected. The carbon monoxide gas from the exhaust of the engine is dangerous and even deadly if you inhale it for even a few minutes.  Make sure that the generator is far enough away from the house or any open windows, doors or vents that the carbon monoxide gas won’t get into your house.  Keep the generator at least 15 feet away from the house with the exhaust pointing away from your house and your neighbors if they are too close.  The generator should be running on a flat level surface for stability.

 Always use clean fresh regular unleaded gasoline in a gas generator, with minimum octane rating of 85 and an ethanol content of less than 10%.  Make sure that you wipe up any spills of gas before starting your generator.

 Never start or stop your generator with electrical devices plugged into it or turned on.  Always unplug the hookups to the generator before stopping or starting.  After starting your generator let the engine warm up and stabilize for a few minutes before plugging in any cords or electrical devices.

 Use only UL listed extension cords of the proper size for your generator.  The rating for each extension cord must exceed the total amperage rating to support the appliances connected to it.  Never back feed your generator cord to a household outlet, it is critical to make sure that your generator can not feed power into the local power company’s power line.  Doing so would be extremely dangerous and illegal under most state laws.  Connecting your generator in this manner could seriously damage your appliances or cause injury or death to a power company worker that may be working nearby.

 Most generators have a low oil shut off that will automatically shut the generator off if you are low on oil.  Always make sure you have enough oil and fuel in your generator before starting.  Never add fuel or oil to a running or hot generator.  If you are running your generator for longer periods of time, make sure that you check the oil level daily.

Please make sure to understand and follow any and all safety information on your generator and in the manual to keep you and your family safe and to maintain the safe operation of the generator.

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