Natural disasters happen, power outage also happens. In such cases of a power outage for a pretty long time, a generator can be of great help as a backup source of power. Following the hurricanes and other severe natural disasters there comes extended power outage. That is why using a generator can offer you great advantages. But if you use that improperly it can seriously harm or even kill people.
— Why You Need a Backup Power Source? —
Over the past few years, tropical storms and other disaster has been a very common thing. In most of the cases following the disaster, the power outage comes. And it stays for days if not for weeks. It is always convenient to have light, the HVAC system on, having the television running while there is darkness around. Immediately after the disaster, this can be really helpful until you get the help from outside, if you need, or at least until the power comes back.
You never know how long you have to be with this power outage. Don’t let your experiences be a nightmare, just have a generator. Now the question is which generator will be right for you. Basically, there are two types of generators you can choose from.
- Portable Generators: This is the least expensive type of generator and generally they run by fuel. It will not be turned on immediately if there is a power cut. You need to turn it on manually. Due to the potential risk of carbon monoxide you need to take the generator outside and then power it on. You need a properly rated power cord to connect to the appliances and you must set that at a safe distance from your house. Everything you need to do manually.
- Permanently Installed Generators: On the other hand, this type of generators requires less work. They get connected right after the power shuts off. Usually, they run on natural gas or propane. They are safer. Because of the safety and the convenience you need to pay more for this type of generator.
Generator Safety Tips
If you are living in some places that are a mandatory evacuation area, you must leave. If you are not feeling safe at home, you must leave and take shelter is some safer places. And if you are deciding to stay at home, make sure that safety is the number one priority. Here go some tips that you must follow to avoid any kind of accidents after the disaster is over.
- Always read the user manuals before you start using the generator.
- Never use your generator indoor. Do not use your generator inside garage, crawl space of any other closed areas.
- Always use a carbon monoxide detector in the area where you are running the generator.
- Always let the generator cool for at least 2 minutes before you refuel it. Gasoline can be extremely flammable. Always use fresh gasoline while refueling.
- Maintain the generator according to the guide or user manual for getting the best performance.
- Never use the generator near combustible materials.
- If you need to use an extension cord, make sure that the cord is compatible with the generator and rated for that application. Otherwise, the cord can be really hot and causes the accident.
- Never operate your generator under wet condition.
- Plug appliances directly to the generator or use a right extension cord that is rated.
- Never plug your generator directly into home outlet since it leaves the risk of electrifying your people.
Get Ready For the Strom
You should purchase the generator before the storm. Just any generator will not be right for you. You need to be careful about the balance of your requirement and the wattage of the generator. A buying guide for generator will be great to look at before you make the final decision. Shortly make a list of the appliances that you are going to use and add all the wattage. Now, this is the minimum power amount of the generator you are looking for. Know what is the right size of generator for you.
After purchasing, make sure that you place the generator in right place. Never use a generator indoors and never use it during the storm. That means, store your generator indoor during the storm and then after the storm take that out where there is enough flow of fresh air, in a dry place, then power it on. But this is always suggested to have a separate space, with a shed to store your generator. You may like to look at our article How to store your generator safely. A generator is a source of carbon monoxide, so you should purchase a carbon monoxide detector to set that at the place where you are running the generator.
Use Generator after the Strom
During the storm, unfortunately, you have to be in darkness if there is a power outage. You should use the generator only after the disaster is over. Before firing up the generator for power, make sure to do something for safety.
- Take the generator outside. This is a must. According to US Consumer Product Safety (USCPS) guideline, you should never use a generator indoors. Since a generator emits carbon monoxide as much as 100 of cars. After storm when the downpour is over, find a dry place far from your window and place the generator there.
- Keep it cool. Gasoline and its vapor are highly flammable. If it comes in contact with the hot generator it can cause unexpected fire hazards. Before refueling the generator let it rest for at least two minutes and always use fresh gasoline. Never use your generator near any combustible materials.
- Keep the wires straight. Make sure that the appliances are directly connected to the generator or use a properly rated extension wire. Before using check all the cords for tears or other sign of wears. Make sure that you are using a grounded three-prong plug. If you want to connect the generator to the house wiring, always take help from a professional electrician.