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James Seward
James Seward is the owner & operator of Seward Electric in Pittsburg. For more information or to reach James please call 620-232-1696.
2012-01-26 15:20:22
Using generators safely
A: Generators are useful during times of power outage, but it is always important to take precautions. As you might expect, the hazards with generators include the same that you would expect with utility supplied energy. There are however, other very important things you should know when you use a generator. Let’s talk about the most common hazards associated with generators, and tips to avoid them. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Many people die every year from inhaling the colorless and odorless gas, carbon monoxide (CO), which is emitted by such things as generators. Never run a generator indoors or in enclosed spaces. Assure that the generator is not placed near a door, window or vent where the gas could get in and collect in occupied spaces. If you feel dizzy or nauseous, seek medical attention immediately. Fire To avoid fire, refuel the machine when it is cold. Do not store fuel near the generator or in the home. Keep sources of ignition away from the machine, particularly while in operation. Shocks and Electrocution Because to use a generator you may bypass safety devices, such as circuit breakers, you should take special care against electrocution. Never attach a generator directly to the electrical system. This is not only dangerous for you, it can also create a serious hazard for others in the area. When you attach a generator directly to the system without the advantage of a properly installed transfer switch, it is possible to electrify systems a great distance which may electrocute others, such as utility workers. Other things to remember include: • Use grounded (3-pronged) electrical cords in good condition • Use Ground fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) • Make sure generator is grounded and kept dry. Finally, as you use your generator, remember that it causes a significant amount of noise and vibration. This can also pose unforeseen hazards. Be certain that anything placed near the generator is secure and will not fall onto the equipment. It may also be good to consider using hearing protection while the machine is running.
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