Safety precautions to consider when using a generator

WARWICK, Mass. (WWLP) – The microburst in Warwick has left many people without power and that’s where a generator can come in handy. However, if you don’t use it properly, it can lead to major problems.

Outages have dropped significantly in the Warwick area from thousands to a few hundred, but it’s times like these that a generator can come in handy.

The Taplin owner said it starts with making sure your generator is big enough to support your basic needs, like your refrigerator. However, you’ll probably need a more powerful one if you plan to run your air conditioning or heating and if any of your appliances use smart technology, this can also be a significant factor. Buying a generator also comes with safety precautions.

Marty Jagodowski, owner of Taplin Yard, Pump and Power Equipment, told 22News, “You never want to fill it up when it’s hot. Because you’ll notice when you fill up your gas tank and see the fumes and it’s volatile, it’s much more volatile when it’s hot.

You also don’t want to run a generator inside your home, garage, or RV. This can pose a carbon monoxide hazard. And when you run your generator outdoors, you want it to be 15 feet from the building.

  • Locate the generator outdoors away from doors, windows, and vents. Never use a generator inside a home, basement or crawl space, not even inside a garage with the door open. When possible, place the generator 5-10 feet from the house.
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator or use heavy-duty outdoor extension cords, not to exceed the number of outlets on the generator. Make sure the cords have no cuts or tears and that they have all three prongs, especially the ground prong.
  • Keep the generator dry. Operate on a dry surface under an open awning or tent.
  • Dry your hands before touching the generator.
  • Allow the generator to cool before refueling. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts can ignite.

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Susan W. Lloyd