Generators can restore power when there is an interruption in the supply of mains electricity. They can supply the power needed to use important household appliances and electrical installations such as electric water heaters, fridges and freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, air conditioners, and so on. However, the use of generators is not without dangers. If you intend to use a generator, it is critical that you take precautionary steps to ensure your safety and that of your loved ones.
Here is a look at some of the common safety hazards associated with generator use, and how they can be managed.
Excessive noise and vibration
All generators vibrate and are inherently noisy. Some of the components responsible for generator noise include the engines, cooling fans, and engine exhausts. Excessive noise and vibration may affect the peace and quiet in your home, but also lead to hearing loss. Generators should be kept as far away as possible from living spaces so as to keep noise levels down. Other ways to help minimise generator noise levels include using soundproofing generator enclosures, installing acoustic insulation in your walls, ceilings, and air lining ducts, and mounting generators on vibration isolators. It is a good idea using a model that comes equipped with exhaust silencers.
The electricity produced by generators is just as dangerous as that supplied by local electricity utility companies. Therefore, potential for electrocution and electrical shocks is always present when generators are running. In fact, the risk is usually higher because generator users usually overlook the importance of safety devices, including circuit breakers, which are built into mains electricity electrical systems. To cushion against electricals hazards, DO NOT expose the generator to wet conditions, use proper electrical cords, avoid overloading, and make sure the equipment is properly grounded.
Carbon monoxide buildup
Generator engine exhaust usually release a harmful gas known as carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, and it can find its way into the air without people realising it because the gas is colourless and odourless. If you start to feel weak, dizzy or intoxicated while a generator is running, get fresh air immediately. The carbon monoxide from generators is so harmful that it may even cause death! The best solution for this problem is to NEVER operate a generator indoors, be it in houses, garages, crawl spaces, basements, and other fully- or partially-enclosed spaces, even if they have been ventilated. Keeping windows and doors open will do little to prevent build-up of carbon monoxide in the home.
The above-mentioned tips are only supplemental and should be used in tandem with the instructions provided by the manufacturer in the user's manual. For more information, contact a business such as Total Generators.