Portable back-up generator safety tips

Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 5:24 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - With severe weather on the way, some folks may be planning to run a portable generator in case of a power outage.

Outside Operations Vice President Daniel Braun said portable back-up generators can be harmful if not managed correctly.

“One of the major concerns when using portable generators is carbon monoxide entering the home. Carbon monoxide is silent. It’s odorless, tasteless and you usually can’t see the effects of it until it’s to late,” he explained.

He said portable generators produce about 10 times the amount of carbon monoxide as a vehicle, so when in use, keep it at least 20 feet from any opening of the home.

He said you should also keep it away from “combustible materials including wood, vinyl siding or leaves.”

If you plan to use a portable generator, make sure you check and service it, before it’s needed.

“Every four days that it runs you want to have it maintained,” he said. “You want to have the oil changed, the spark plugs checked, the voltage checked to ensure the generator is running at it’s proper factory setting that it came with.”

Braun gave another tip to keep you safe.

“Make sure not to connect the generator to any outlets in the home,” he said. “The generator is only to be connected to the appliances that you are going to use. You are already in a vulnerable situation with the storm coming in, with the ice and the cold and the snow. So, the more you can be prepared to handle what’s coming, the better you’ll be prepared when it is here.”

Also remember to allow the generator to cool off before refueling it and never run a generator inside the home.

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