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Portable Generator Safety

​This Tailgate Talk is part of the NLTAPA collection.

Portable generators can be a very useful piece of equipment during a power outage. Portable generators can also be very dangerous. If you plan on using a portable generator, it is essential that you take proper precautions for your safety and the safety of those working to restore the power.


Here are a few tips that will help you use a portable generator safely:


  • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions before running your generator.


  • Generators emit carbon monoxide. Never use your generator inside your home, garage, or any other confined, enclosed area.


  • Operate generators away from open windows, vents, or doors.


  • Never operate a generator near combustible materials.


  • Maintain your generator according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.


  • Gasoline vapors are extremely flammable. Allow the generator to cool at least a few minutes before attempting to refuel.


  • Never plug your generator directly into your home outlet. If you are connecting a generator to your home electrical system, be sure to install a power transfer switch.


  • If you have to use extension cords, be sure that they are the grounded type and are rated for the specific application.


  • Coiled electrical cords can get extremely hot; always uncoil cords and lay them in flat open areas.


  • Generators produce powerful voltage – Take precautions to protect your generator from exposure to rain and snow.


  • Use caution - Be sure to not overload your generator.



Resources and References:


OSHA Portable Generator Grounding Requirements

https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hurricane_Facts/grounding_port_generator.html


OSHA Portable Generator Fact Sheet URL

https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hurricane_Facts/portable_generator_safety.pdf


OSHA Portable Generator Safety Webpage

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/3277-10N-05-english-06-27-2007.html