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Helpful Information on Generator Use + What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

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Generator 101

Electricity and power are a common day necessity. For those that need backup power, you can rely on portable generators. Generators serve as an emergency power outlet or as the main power source when other resources are not available. 

One thing to keep in mind is that portable generators can be very dangerous when handling. You can get electrocuted if you do not know what you’re doing. You can also accidentally spark up an electrical line.

Always read the instructions and be sure to ask questions when you buy or rent a generator. 

Backup basics on purchasing your generator

Choose a portable generator rated for your power needs. Review the labels on the lighting, appliances and equipment you plan to connect to the generator.

The generator should produce more power than will be drawn by the lighting, appliances and equipment you connect to it. If the generator doesn’t produce enough power for your needs, don’t use all the equipment at the same time. If your equipment draws more power than the generator can produce, the equipment could be damaged, or you could blow a fuse.

If you can’t determine the amount of power you’ll need, ask an electrician to help you out.

Do's and Don'ts:

- Don’t use a portable generator indoors or in an attached garage. Generators are internal combustion engines that emit carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless poisonous gas that can lead to death.

- Don’t connect your generator directly to your business's electrical system unless a qualified professional has installed the generator with a transfer switch. If you do, it can “back feed” into the power lines connected to your business. This could kill linemen who may be working to repair outages many miles away.

- Don’t overload the portable generator. Only use it to power a limited number of appliances or equipment.

- Don’t store gasoline for generators indoors or in a garage if there’s a water heater or other fuel-burning appliance there.

- Don’t touch a portable generator if you are wet or standing on a wet surface.

- Don’t leave a running portable generator unattended. Turn it off before you go home.

- Do place your portable generator outside where exhaust fumes will not enter enclosed spaces. Make sure it is in a well-ventilated dry area away from rain and snow.

- Do install a battery-operated CO detection device in your business so you are warned if CO levels are dangerous.

- Do connect heavy-duty, outdoor-rated power cords to the portable generator. Then, connect appliances to the power cord, being careful to ensure they are in the wattage range the generator can supply.

- Do properly ground your portable generator to avoid electrical shocks.

- Do shut off the generator before refueling it.

- Do have a fire extinguisher near.

- Do keep children away.


Power Plus! is a leading provider of reliable non-radioactive power generators across the United States and Canada.


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