Safety & HCM Post

Portable Generator Hazards Go Beyond Respiratory Risks

Every year people die from carbon monoxide poisoning after operating portable electric generators indoors. But the National Safety Council (NSC) notes that several other carbon monoxide hazards also need to be taken into account.

Running a fan or opening windows for ventilation does not make it safe to operate gasoline-powered equipment indoors. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide may still build up. When running a portable power generator outdoors, it’s important to ensure that all doors, windows and vents in the area are closed, so that deadly CO gas is not sucked into the building. A battery powered CO detector should be placed indoors to ensure that an alarm sounds if CO gas is somehow entering the building.

Here are some other power generator safety tips:

Before refueling a portable generator, let its engine cool for at least two minutes. Gasoline and its vapors are extremely hazardous. Always use fresh gasoline. If the generator will not be used in the next 30 days, fuel stabilizer should be used to prevent the fuel from going bad and gumming up the engine. Never operate a power generator near combustible materials. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions before running a generator and also follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. If extension cords must be used, ensure that they are of the grounded type and are rated for the application. Coiled cords can become extremely hot. Always uncoil cords and lay them in flat, open locations. Never operate a generator under wet conditions. Take precautions to protect your generator from exposure to rain and snow.

Bongarde Editorial

Bongarde Editorial

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