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How to Safely Use a Generator

Portable generators are easy and safe to use when operated correctly. Here are some basic safety tips regarding portable power sources. 

Run it outside

Make sure the exhaust is not pointed toward your house, where an open window or intake air vent could draw dangerous exhaust fumes into your home.

It is not safe to run a portable generator inside an attached garage. Fumes can make their way into your home through cracks in doorways or other openings.

Let a professional do the wiring

Professional wiring by a qualified electrician will ensure your generator delivers electricity where its needed in your home, without overwhelming its limited capacity.

It is safe to run an extension cord to a single appliance -- a freezer or a fridge, for example, but for powering multiple outlets, professional wiring provides the best way to reduce fire risk.

Gas up the generator when its engine is cold

Make sure the generator has been shut down for a period of time so it is cool and safe to fuel. Refueling right away after shutting it down runs the risk of starting a fire if you spill gas on a hot engine.

Put carbon monoxide detectors in your home

You can't smell or see poisonous carbon monoxide.

Headache and drowsiness are symptoms, but victims often lose consciousness before they realise what's happening. Carbon monoxide detectors will sound an alarm before CO reaches dangerous levels inside a house.

Thank you to PEI Provincial Fire Marshal David Rossiter for providing these cardinal rules for the safe operation of generators.