Sequel to the adverse effects of generator use discussed last week, which include Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and fire accidents among others, we highlight here 11 essential tips for generator safety; DOs
1. Be sure to READ the manufacturer’s instructions that come with your generator so you can operate it within its power output limit and prevent overloading. This way, you will be running your generator at 75% or less of its inbuilt capacity and invariably prolong your generator’s life. – This life-saving practice should take only a few minutes –
2. Position your generator OUTSIDE your house with a distance of at least 20 feet away. This is because you may have left your windows and/or doors open to receive fresh air and CO could enter in.
3. Connect your generator to your house wiring using the service of a qualified electrician to install a power transfer SWITCH.
4. Move to fresh air as soon as you start to feel dizzy, confused or weak while using a generator as this just might be a signal that you have CO poisoning.
5. TURN OFF all equipment powered by the generator before shutting it down.
6. Shut down and allow your generator COOL before refuelling as its hot engine parts could catch fire if in contact with fuel. About ten minutes should do.
7. Store FUEL in a safety can having ensured it is the type of fuel recommended in the manufacturer’s instructions or on your generator’s label. Store in a protected area but not near your generator and not in living areas.
8. Store your generator in a WELL-VENTILATED area with the fuel tank empty. During storage and use, preserve at least three feet space on all sides including over your generator. Allow 30 minutes for it to cool before storing. Empty the fuel tank, close the fuel valve, and restrain it when moving.
9. Consider installing a battery-powered CO ALARM such that if CO from your generator enters your house in amounts dangerous to your health, the alarm will be triggered.
10. Place a fully charged fire EXTINGUISHER near your generator.
11. Consider putting NOISE CONTROL measures in place such as constructing steel or concrete enclosures, using soundproof materials, placing your generator on vibration isolators and avoiding prolonged generator use as much as possible.
Generators are a potential cause of domestic accidents, hence the need to ensure safe use and protection. Please feel free to SHARE your experience with your generators and any tips you have for using generators safely.