After the Storm – Generator Safety Tips

The entire team at Jack Ward Fire Consultants is praying for each of our families, friends, employees, and clients to weather this hurricane without injury or property damage. In keeping with these positive thoughts, we wanted to share a few safety tips concerning generator use after Hurricane Michael.

  1. According to a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report over a 13 year period, 85% of non-fire related Carbon Monoxide (CO) deaths were the result of improper use of a generator. The following list can help keep you and your family safe from CO, Fire, and Electrocution.

  1. Be sure you have the accurate size generator to fit your needs. You need to confirm that the generator you are using or purchasing provides more amps than you need. Some appliances can pull three times the amount of run time power at start up.
    – Begin by adding up the power requirements of devices and appliances you            intend to use
    – Next add the wattage of all lightbulbs you want to power on.
    – Divide Watts by Volts to determine the total number of Amps you will need.
  2. Prevent Fire and Electrocution:
    – Ensure the generator is completely cool before refueling.
    – Keep fuel away from the generator to avoid ignition.
    – Keep the generator dry and avoid using it during raining or wet conditions if                  you do not have an open type canopy to keep it dry and avoid electrocution.
    – Plug appliances directly into the generator or use heavy-duty outdoor                      extension cords that are rated to carry more amps/watts than your appliance          requires.
    – Never “backfeed” your house by plugging a generator into an outlet. This                practice of trying to power the house by directing current back into the house               from the generator from an existing outlet is dangerous to you, your family,                  and utility workers trying to restore power back to your home.
  3. Avoid the Quiet Killer – Carbon Monoxide:
    – Never use a generator inside your home, garage, workspace, or any                      enclosed area. (opening doors and windows will not protect you and your              family)
    – Install CO alarms and check battery levels regularly.

For more helpful tips on generator safety visit the following links:

www.nfpa.org
www.cdc.gov
www.redcross.org