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Eight (8) don’ts of generator use

Dr. Akin-Onitolo A.



Life is precious and should be treated as such. Here are eight things that are advised to avoid when using your generator. DON’T
1. Use your generator in enclosed spaces, such as inside your house, shop, a garage, or a partially-enclosed area, even if your windows and doors are open to let in air. As discussed in previous posts on this subject, CO is an invisible gas that can wreak havoc before you even realize it.


2. Use your generator in wet conditions including rain. Avoid operating your generator with wet hands or feet as it is a potential source of electric shock/electrocution. In rainy weather, placing your generator on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure can be helpful. You could also consider building an enclosure for it that would also serve to reduce the noise and vibration associated with generators.


3. Store fuel near any appliance/ equipment that runs on fuel such as your generator itself. This is because invisible vapours from fuel can float around when spilled or its container is not well closed, and this could lead to a fire.


4. Smoke while handling fuel. It is a very flammable substance and when handled improperly, can cause a fire and consequent burns or death.


5. Fool around with your generator muffler or exhaust as the heat from these can lead to burns especially in the presence of flammable objects. A muffler is the material attached to machines like generators to reduce the exhaust noise.


6. Employ old and worn electrical cords as they may be damaged. Ensure that the whole length of the cord is without tears at any point and the cord’s plug has 3 complete prongs especially the grounding pin, the pin that stands alone above the other two, which is essential.


7. Power your house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall socket. This is called back feeding and it puts those who share the same transformer with you at risk of electrocution. This also puts you at risk as it bypasses some built-in household protection devices (if you have those).


8. Forget to plug appliances/equipment to the generator directly. You may use a heavy duty extension cord that is at least equal to the sum of the connected equipment load. You should operate your generator within its power output limit to avoid overload. This way, you will be running your generator at 75% or less of its inbuilt capacity and invariably prolong its life (money-saving).




Please feel free to SHARE your experiences with generators and any TIPS you have for using generators safely.


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Dr. Akin-onitolo A. is a graduate of the University of Lagos whose mission is to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) using health promotion and improved health literacy. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) certified doctor who had her elective at King's College London. Hugely interested in travel, meeting people and generally being creative, reading and writing fiction are a few hobbies you could find her engaged in during her spare time. Catch up with her on Twitter @Akinonitolo and Instagram @t_onitolo