Portable generators are a wise investment, especially if you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes or blizzards and a whole-home generator is out of your budget. Before you make the investment, there are factors you need to consider to make your investment safer.

Plan A Location

You need an open area to safely run a generator. Without thorough planning before an emergency, it is easily to make a costly mistake. Never run your generator in an open garage because there may not be enough ventilation to ensure carbon monoxide is not backing up into your living areas. You also need to be cautious about outdoor spaces where you will run your generator. Make sure it is not located near any type of air intake for home ventilation systems, which would cause carbon monoxide to be pulled into your home.

If possible, you may want to have a location where your generator can be covered by a large umbrella. You will want just enough protection to help keep debris or rain from causing problems. When you select the appropriate location, make sure the generator is placed on a hard surface, such as concrete or bricks, and cannot be easily tipped over.

Find A Safe Place For Fuel

Your ability to store fuel will depend on the fuel source you use, with propane being safer to store than gasoline. If you are preparing for a severe weather event, purchase your gasoline two to three days before the weather event. Try to store gasoline as far away from the main living space as possible, such as in a shed. Additionally, gasoline should not be stored anywhere near appliances, such as hot water heaters. Even when the gasoline does not come into contact with an open flame, any fumes could be ignited and lead to a fire that will spread quickly. Propane can simply be stored in its prospective tank for later use.

Choose Fuel Sources Wisely

If you are considering a portable generator, the most common options are gasoline or propane for your fuel source. Gasoline may be a better option if your generator is used for more than emergency situations, such as camping or other recreational activities. Since gasoline is readily available, you should face fewer problems finding fuel. Unfortunately, the converse is true during emergency situations. When bad weather approaches, you are more likely to face problems finding gasoline than propane, since many people will need to fuel their cars. If you will purchase a portable generator for recreational and emergency use, it is better to choose a model that can use both types of fuel. For strictly emergency use, propane can be a more reliable fuel source.

Although portable generators are helpful, using them appropriately is not always easy. By considering any safety hazards you may face before using your generator, you reduce the likelihood of a fire or personal injury. For more information, contact a business such as Oak Electric.

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