generator safety tips to safely use a generator during power outage
BISON Generators are designed to give you the power you need to keep your facility running smoothly during a power outage. They are large industrial equipment and should always be handled with care. If misused, you can endanger the health and safety of your employees, and specific actions can even result in a complete shutdown of your generators, mobile generators, backup generators, and emergency preparedness generators.
12 Generator Safety Tips
Follow these generator safety tips to keep your generator working when you need it most.
1)Allow adequate ventilation
Generator exhaust contains carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases, so proper ventilation is key to keeping everyone in the building safe. Large industrial generators are best placed outdoors on concrete slabs or in designated generator rooms specially designed to provide the necessary ventilation. Generators should be installed where exhaust air will be kept away from windows, doors, and vents.
It would be beneficial if you filled up your generator with additional caution. Cool down your generator completely before fueling it. The gas is highly flammable and, if splashed on a hot engine, can ignite and explode, making it difficult to control without causing significant damage. Also, a running generator can get hot enough to burn anyone touching it, so you should avoid touching it directly until it cools down.
Remember that fuel will expand when refueling, so you shouldn’t fill up the tank. Once the generator is running, fuel can spill onto the hot engine and cause a fire hazard.
3) Properly store fuel
In case of an emergency, you should have fuel on hand if you have a diesel generator. Just make sure you use an approved storage container and place it in a temperature-controlled, well-ventilated area of the facility, away from employee work areas and any heat sources that could cause fuel to accidentally ignite within the building.
4) Hearing protection for employees
Commercial generators that use power from diesel fuel can be very loud during operation. Decibel levels can be high enough to seriously damage the hearing of anyone near the generator, so you should ensure that all employees wear earmuffs to protect their hearing when working anywhere near the equipment. You can also install sound enclosures, which are barriers used to significantly reduce the noise produced by generators.
5) Take proper weather precautions
Even if we utilize generators in a variety of situations, it’s best to shield equipment from strong winds, torrential rain, and other bad weather. Wind can cause dust and debris to enter your generator openings, which can clog filters and make your generator harder to run than necessary. You should clean the filter regularly and replace it as needed.
Running the generator during a heavy rainstorm can cause an electrical failure that can permanently damage the generator. Thankfully, you can protect your generator from inclement weather with a special top cover and steel case. You should also not touch the generator with wet hands or while standing in the pool water. Doing so may result in electric shock, so it is essential to observe your proximity to the generator.
6) Leave enough space around the generator
The distance between the generator and any neighboring doors, windows, or vents should be at least 15 feet. This will help prevent dangerous exhaust gases from entering your facility. There should also be about3 to 5 feet between your generator and the surroundings.
7) Allow only authorized employees near the generator
Take safety measures to prevent your general staff from entering the unit. Make sure your authorized personnel handle the generator correctly. Conduct regularsecurity tests to apply their knowledge.
8) Correct operation
Knowing how to operate a generator is vital to ensuring the safety of everyone in a building. Before utilizing the generator, read and abide by themanufacturer’s instructions. Never plug the device into awall outlet. When installing new equipment, a master electrician or generator professional should connect it to the mains circuit breaker once it is in place. You also shouldn’t exceed themaximum power load the generator can handle, or you risk overheating your equipment. Overheating the generator can cause it to shut down and can cause irreparable damage.
9) Conduct regular inspections
Regular maintenance checks are the best way to ensure your generator is running when needed. Common maintenance tasks include:
- Refilling fuel and coolant.
- Changing oil and filters.
- Checking connections for loose or corroded connections.
- Checking for leaks.
To make sure the engine is in proper working order, you should also let it run for at least30 minutes. If you find a problem, get in touch with a generator expert right away. Prompt handling of needed repairs can prevent a small problem from developing into a major one.
10) Always keep extra supplies
Emergencies are entirely unpredictable, which is why they are so dangerous. And why it’s important to be as prepared as possible for any situation.
One of the best ways to keep your generator safe is to stock up on the supplies you need to keep it running.
This means having more of all the fluids it uses, especially oil and fuel. Having these on hand will ensure your generator doesn’t dry out and cause other safety hazards.
In an emergency, the last thing you must worry about is whether your generator will work.
11) Use high-quality materials
A generator is an investment and can be a game changer in those dire emergencies. For the safest, you should ensure your generator is made of high-quality materials.
Turning on your generator, ready to rely on its power, only to break parts while running, would be horrific.
One essential but frequently overlooked component of a generator is the power wire.
Make sure the power cord can support the required energy load. And it handles movement without tearing or breaking.
12) Miscellaneous tips
- a) Never smoke near fuel or a generator.
- b) Always start and stop the generator only when no electrical loads are connected.
Safety Tips When Using a Generator at Home
The main risks to avoid when using generators at home are electric shock, fire, and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from poisonous engine exhaust. The instructions that came with the generator must be followed.
- To avoid electric shock, keep the generator dry and not use it in rain or wet conditions. Use it under an open canopy structure, such as a tarp supported by poles, on a dry area. Never use damp hands to interact with the generator.
- Be sure to turn off the generator and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline splashed on hot engine parts can ignite.
- Store generator fuel in an approved storage tank. Use the fuel type recommended on the instructions or generator label. Local laws may limit the amount of fuel you can store or where you can store it. Ask your local fire department.
- Store fuel in a locked shed or other protected areas outside living areas. Do not store it near fuel-burning equipment, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage, to prevent accidental fires.
- Plug the appliances directly into the generator, or use a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cord rated (in watts or amperes)at least equal to the combined load of the appliances connected. Check that the entire cord isn’t cut or torn and that the plug has all three prongs, especially the ground pin.
- Never attempt to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet. This practice, known as“feedback,” puts utility workers, your neighbors, and your family at risk of electric shock.
- Remember that even a properly connected generator can overload, causing overheating or failure. Be sure to read the instructions.
- If necessary,stagger the operating hours of various equipment to prevent overloading.
- Keep your children and pets away from the generator.
Protects against carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning
How to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning when using a generator at home
Never use generators, grills, camping stoves, gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning equipment in your home, garage, basement, or any partially enclosed area.
Keep these devices outside, away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to get inside.
Using fans or opening windows and doors won’t stop CO accumulation in your house. Although carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled, it can quickly cause death. Even if you can’t smell exhaust gas, you may still be exposed to carbon monoxide.
If you feel nauseous, dizzy, or weak while using the generator, get to the fresh air immediately—don’t delay.
Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every floor of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of carbon monoxide buildup.
Test batteries frequently and replace them as needed.
If the carbon monoxide alarm goes off, move quickly to fresh air outside or open a window or door.
Get help from fresh air and stay there until emergency personnel arrives to help you.
Safely Moving Your Generator
Safety tips for moving an industrial generator from one place to another
Moving an industrial generator is acomplex process that requires careful planning. Portable generators can be moved easily, but industrial generators are fixed to concrete slabs. The following tips can help you move your industrial generator as safely and efficiently as possible:
1) Contact a professional rigger
Industrial generators are huge and heavy. Industrial assemblers are trained to lift and move heavy commercial objects such as generators safely. Professionals have the equipment and knowledge to relocate generators without risking workers. They willassess the site and current electrical systems to ensure the generator is safely moved and reinstalled.
2) Choose your location carefully
Experts can help with site planning. You need to place the generator onfirm, level ground. You also need to make sure that the concrete pads in the new location are the right size and thickness. Professional installers will consider a site that allows the generator to power your equipment without moving again.
3) Disconnect the generator
When the generator needs to be moved, you must disconnect it from the main circuit breaker and all connected equipment. Let workers know that there will be power outages during the move. Once in place, the main electrician should connect the generator to the main circuit breaker.
4) Implement tagout
Tagout is a safety procedure designed to protect employees from accidental activation of machinery or equipment. Tagout, also calledlockout, helps prevent electrical or electric shock from stored energy. Appoint someone to turn the generator off and unhook it from the power source before you move it.
5) Consider the weight limit
Only someone trained in rigging can lift the generator. They will consider theweight of the equipment, the capacity, and theweight constraints of the equipment used to lift the generator. They will determine how to lift the load to stabilize it, keeping your generator and workers on the ground below safe.
Contact BISON today
Generators are an essential part of running a safe, efficient business and minimizing downtime due to power outages. To get the most out of your generator investment, it’s important to always prioritize safety.
At BISON, we value safety, quality, and reliability in meeting our customers’ electrical needs. If you need to purchase a generator, contact BISON online or call us at (+86) 17380831819.
use a generator FAQ
What happens if you don't have a transfer switch installed?
Without a suitable transfer switch, the power provided by the generator could be backfeed along the power line, posing a severe electrocution hazard to anyone touching the power line, including power line workers making necessary repairs.
How far is the safe distance from the house?
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that even 15 feet distance from home is too close to operate a generator safely. Remember your neighbors too. Keep your generator a safe distance from their home.
Is the area around the generator safe for my child to play in?
No.Kids should not be allowed around portable generators.
Additionally, make sure to keep generator fuel out of children's reach.
How big is the carbon monoxide problem associated with using a generator?
More than 80% of carbon monoxide deaths associated with portable generators occur in the home, usually due to the use of portable generators in living spaces.
Can't I just plug my generator directly into an outlet in my house?
Do not connect the generator directly to household electrical wiring unless an appropriate transfer switch has been installed by a licensed and qualified electrician.
If you have any enquiries about the BISON generator, we would love to hear from you.