How to Use a Backup Generator Safely

How to Use a Backup Generator Safely

A generator can be a lifesaver during a power outage, but only if you practice each aspect of generator safety. These appliances use combustible fuels to produce electricity. Generators have the capacity to do a lot of good, but when misused, can cause serious harm.

Always use the generator outdoors.

Generators use gas or diesel, both of which create carbon monoxide. Using one indoors will create high amounts of CO in a short period. If you are using the generator near a window or door be sure to keep them closed at all times.

You may smell the fumes from the generator, but the CO created has no odor, color, or taste. CO can easily overcome you and your family. If you need to run the generator for extended periods of time, place a CO detector in the room closest to its location outdoors.

Watch where you connect

Never plug the generator into an electrical outlet inside your home to backfeed the powers supply. Ignoring this generator safety mandate could cause a serious or fatal shock to a neighbor or utility worker who is working on the line.

Extension Cords

Use heavy-duty extension cords to supply power to your appliances or fixtures. Running a cord that’s too light can cause an electrical fire.


Keep extra gasoline or diesel in an ANSI-approved gas can.

These cans are bright red and vented. Put the can in a place where your children or pets won’t be able to access it. Never store gasoline in the house.

Do not operate the generator in the rain.

If you must run it, try to put it under an eave or table to keep it dry. Manufacturers do make tents to use during hurricanes that keep the generators dry and the carbon monoxide safely away from the house.

Let the generator cool down before you add more fuel.

They get very hot and spilling gas on them could start a fire.


If you’re ever uncertain about home and generator safety, contact Powers Heating & Air. We provide HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.


Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

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