Diesel Generator Safety Tips
Generators are very useful and many times necessary pieces of equipment to have for your home or business when a storm hits. Experiencing a storm, such as a hurricane, blizzard, or tornado, can be both scary and dangerous. These types of storms have the potential to cause mass destruction that can result in weeks, maybe even months, of clean up. A large part of the cleanup process is restoring power to that area you live in or the area where you have your business. So while waiting for the power technicians to turn everything back on, it is beneficial to have a diesel generator.
Depending on the size and power of the diesel generator, it will provide power to your home or business. You can set it to fully power your business so that you can keep operating and make profits. Or the diesel generator can give you the comfort you are used to at home. No matter what you use a diesel generator for, below are a couple of safety times that you should be aware of when purchasing and operating this piece of equipment.
Always Run the Generator Outdoors
After the dangers of a storm, the last thing you want to do is put you and your family’s lives in danger by running a diesel generator indoors. Generators produce a very large amount of carbon monoxide that can be fatal if left to gather indoors. It is recommended that the generator is placed about 20 feet away from your house of business. If you are using a diesel generator to power your business or home, then you also want to ensure that you have a fully functioning carbon monoxide detector. This should be battery operated so it can alert you if there are high levels of carbon monoxide even when you have limited power. This detector will help to prevent accidental deaths due to carbon monoxide that comes from a diesel generator.
Do Not Plug in the Generator Directly into a Wall Outlet
When you attempt to power your entire home using a diesel generator that is plugged directly into a wall outlet, this is called backfeeding. Using a generator in this manner is dangerous and can result in electrocution to you, utility workers, or even neighbors who use that same utility transfer. Utility workers are working almost around the clock to bring back the power to your area. If they are trying to work on the utility transfer unit that supplies power through your walls and electrical, and your diesel generator is hooked up incorrectly, the utility workers have the potential to become seriously injured.
Avoid Other Electrical Hazards
With your diesel generator 20 feet away from your home or business, as previously mentioned, you are participating in the first step in reducing other electrical hazards. Another way you can achieve this is by using a power extension cord to connect appliances directly to the generator. You will want to make sure that it is a heavy duty extension cord because it is going to be run over 20 feet to the diesel generator. You will also have to look at the wattage of the extension cord to ensure it is the power amount for the appliance you are using it for. Another thing to look for is any cuts in the cord. These two things will allow you to use a diesel generator in a safe manner.