Have you recently moved to an area that experiences severe storms? Do you know how to stay safe if you need to use a generator to power your home? Here are some tips to help you and your family avoid generator dangers during extreme weather:
Don't use generators in your living area: Although you may think that this is common sense, there are people who have attempted to use a generator inside and who have been sickened or killed. After Hurricane Katrina alone, five people were killed by the improper use of a generator. You should also avoid using a generator in an attached garage, due to the potential for carbon monoxide to enter your home. Remember that carbon monoxide is both heavier than air and has no odor. This allows it to seep under doors and into your home without you being aware of its presence. Even if you keep your windows and doors open, this is no guarantee that harmful levels of the gas won't build up inside your home.
Buy and use carbon monoxide detectors: Your home probably already has smoke detectors, but it may not have carbon monoxide detectors. These devices will sound an alarm if the carbon monoxide in your home climbs too high. If you have a fireplace that you use to heat your home or cook with during blizzards, having a carbon monoxide detector is especially important. Heavy snowfall could restrict airflow into your home, allowing dangerous carbon monoxide to build up. In order to stay safe, generators are supposed to be used at least 20 feet from your home. If you have accidentally placed any generators too close to a door or window or other ventilation location, carbon monoxide could be drawn into your home. A carbon monoxide detector will alert you to the danger and allow you to correct the situation.
Don't overload your generators: Before you need to use your generator, be sure you're aware of how much electricity they're able to produce. Some small generators may only be good for one or two things, such as your refrigerator or a hot plate. Other generators will be able to power most of the appliances in your home. If you overload your generator, it will trip the generator's circuit and you will need to reset it. While doing this once or twice accidentally may be no problem, continually overloading your generator could damage it. An overloaded circuit could also potentially cause overheating, sparking a dangerous house fire. If you're unsure about your generator's capabilities, contact a company like Childers Enterprises Inc.