With hurricane season and the increasing threat of heavy rains and flooding comes the potential for frequent and long-lasting power outages to the South Florida region. To remedy this problem many residents purchase backup generators for their homes or businesses.

These generators however, also pose potential risks and it is important to know how to operate them safely. Below are some steps you should take to ensure your safety and that of your family’s when using a generator:

  • Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Never use your generator inside your home or any other fully or partially enclosed space; always keep them outdoors. It’s also recommended to install carbon monoxide detectors outside sleeping areas and on every level of your home and make sure to test batteries frequently.
  • Avoid Electrocution – Never plug in your generator into a wall outlet or operate it during rain, when it is wet or with wet hands. The best place for your generator is outside of your home, under a well-supported canopy, port, or tarp, with all sides open for proper ventilation.
  • Avoid accidental fire – Turn off your generator and allow it to properly cool before adding fuel. Use only fuel recommended for your specific generator and always store it in an approved safety can, away from living areas and fuel-burning appliances. Frequently check cords for cuts or tears and when needed use outdoor-rated, heavy duty extension cords.
  • Avoid overloading – Read the instructions carefully and use a generator with the proper capacity for your needs.

The best way to ensure your safety is to hire a qualified, professional electrician to install and instruct you in the use of your generator.

For more detailed information and important tips on generator safety you can visit: www.broward.org/Hurricane/AtoZ/Pages/GeneratorsBeforeEvent.aspx