Safety Tips for Using Home Generators

By: WILX NEWS 10
By: WILX NEWS 10

Because people don't use generators often, they often forget how to use them safely.  Experts say, always drain the gasoline when it's not in use.  When you’re using the generator, it’s important to keep it outside, use heavy duty extension cords , and know how much electricity it can handle.

Local hardware stores say people struggling to cope without power, are buying home generators to power up freezers, space heaters, and other appliances.

At Menard’s in Lansing, the store ordered a special emergency supply of 6,000 watt generators to meet the demand. There are plenty available for customers who want to save refrigerated and frozen foods, and keep their home warm. Manager at Menard’s, Dennis Kimball, says the generators are ready to go. “These are pretty easy to set up on your own, you know, some gas and oil and generator cord, and you're pretty much ready to roll out of the box." The generators cost about $600 and are capable of powering up four home appliances, totaling 6-thousand watts. For example, a freezer, refrigerator, microwave or sump pump. Says Kimball, "Its camping with a few luxuries."

At Fuller’s Power Equipment Center in Lansing, Owner Ken Fuller has been busy repairing an old generator for a customer who had it gassed up and ready to go. But it wouldn’t work because gas gummed up the carburetor. Fuller says, "If they're gummed up and they're varnished, a lot of times a lot of times they try to leave it running with choke on, which is a bad thing because when you do that you actually damage an engine."

Because people don't use generators often, they often forget how to use them safely. Experts say, always drain the gasoline when it's not in use. When you’re using the generator, it’s important to keep it outside, use heavy duty extension cords , and know how much electricity it can handle. Fuller says, “If you run something where there's way too much of a draw, you can damage the appliance."

Fuller says some people try to hardwire a generator to their home, and could put themselves in danger. If you need help, call an electrician.


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