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Operate generators safely

Another item on your autumn checklist should be starting your generator to make sure it is operational before the cold winds start to blow. When using a generator, Burke-Divide Electric Cooperative urges you to follow these tips to keep you and your family safe:

  • Read and follow all manufacturer operating instructions to properly ground the generator.
  • Standby generators should have a transfer safety switch installed by a professional. Portable generators should never be plugged directly into a home outlet or electrical system.
  • Never operate a generator in a confined area, such asa garage. Generators produce gases, including deadly carbon monoxide. They require proper ventilation.
  • Generators pose electrical risks, especially when operated in wet conditions. Protect the generator by operating it under an open, canopy-like structure on a dry surface where water cannot form puddles or drain under it. Always ensure that your hands are dry before touching the generator.
  • When you refuel the generator, make sure the engine is cool to prevent a fire, should the tank overflow.
  • There should be nothing plugged into the generator when you turn it on. This prevents a surge from damaging your generator and appliances.
  • Be sure to keep children and pets away from the generator, which could burn them.
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