Things to Know if You Have a Backup Generator

A backup generator can give you peace of mind in the event of a hurricane or routine power outage. While they can come in handy, owners should know the right way to install and maintain them. If you have a backup generator, make sure you know the following.

  • Review local laws. Federal, state and local regulations may require you to obtain a permit before using a generator.
  • Keep the area clear. By giving off a lot of heat, backup generators can create a fire if objects are too close. Keep any objects far away from the generator.
  • Check the ventilation. Putting a generator in an enclosed structure can lead to dangerous levels of CO. Keep them at least 15 feet away from open windows so that exhaust doesn’t enter anyone’s home.
  • Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector. This will warn you if CO levels rise, which can be fatal.
  • Keep it in a dry location. Operate your generator on a dry surface under an open structure and make sure your hands are dry before touching it. Wet conditions can lead to short circuits, which can lead to fires.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher close by. This added precaution can help if a fire was to break out.
  • Keep cords tucked away. Not only should you make sure a path is clear of wires, but you should also check these wires regularly to see if any are frayed which again could lead to a fire.
  • Don’t plug them into a wall outlet. The low voltage from the generator can increase to thousands of volts when it passes through a utility transformer. Plug your generator into a manual transfer switch instead – this distributes power in a safer manner. Also, before you turn on your generator, disconnect your normal source of power.
  • Always keep enough fuel handy. Know your generator’s rate of fuel consumption and be sure to have enough fuel on hand. Store fuels in a cool, dry area, away from heat sources. Always turn off your generator and allow it to cool before you refuel it.

This entry was posted by Joseph McCartin on at and is filed under Tips from the Insurance Experts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.