If you’ve ever lived through the aftermath of a natural disaster, you know one of the biggest symbols of civilization is often the first to do during a big storm – the power. For those who don’t want to go without, a portable generator is often the solution. No matter the power source for a generator, however, safety must be considered when setting these up. Taking the time up front to set up a generator correctly is vital.
The first thing to do when considering purchasing a generator is to determine what household items must be run off it in the event of an emergency. This will help determine the size needed. Write down the equipment and take this list to the store where you intend to buy a generator. Don’t expect to be able to get the air conditioning system, refrigerator and other major appliances all running at once off a portable model though. Just go for the most important.
If there is a family member who requires medical equipment that is powered, the generator must first take this into consideration. Make this your prime concern.
After picking out the correct generator to meet your needs, bring it home and read the instructions all the way through. Don’t skip pages and don’t take shortcuts. Generators can be lifesavers, but they can be dangerous, too.
The main concerns with generators tend to be carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and even fire. Since every one of these hazards is major, knowing what you’re doing with a generator is very important before turning it on.
In general, these tips can help make your generator use much more safe:
* Don’t use a generator in a closed in or partially enclosed space. Doing so can create issues with carbon monoxide. The gas cannot be seen or smelled, so it is particularly dangerous.
* If you feel dizzy or sick while operating a generator, get outside, fresh air right away.
* Invest in battery powered CO alarms for your home. These can tell you if you’re running into a problem. Make sure you check the batteries on a regular basis.
* Keep generators in dry conditions and plug items directly into the generator or use only outdoor-rated extension cords recommended by the manufacturer.
* Inspect the generator’s cords for any signs of wear.
* Don’t try to power house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet. This can lead to shock.
* If wiring work is needed for the generator, contact an electrician.
* Don’t replace generator fuel while the machine is hot. Let it cool completely before refilling the tank.
Generators are very popular in locations that have a lot of power outs and are especially useful in emergency centers such as hospitals. In regions that have been hit particularly hard by bad weather, the reports start to wrack up about misuse as those who have survived the storm fall pray to their own ignorance. Don’t let this happen to you.
A portable generator can be a real lifesaver in a big emergency. Unfortunately, these machines can also cause problems if users don’t follow proper safety procedures. Before firing up a generator, make sure all instructions have been read and followed. A little bit of extra time can save a life later.
This week I built a drop off Cabinet for my friends Ed and Mary. The cabinet will have two purposes. Its main purpose is to be a place for delivery packages to go and stay out of the weather when no one is home. The second purpose is to be a shed for their generator so I’m building this cabinet with a removable shelf.
Check out my website for additional project photos and how-to tips: http://jonpeters.com/build-outdoor-drop-off-cabinet-generator-shed/
Ebay Store: http://stores.ebay.com/JP-Art-and-Home
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