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Generator Safety 101: Guidelines for Safe Usage

Generators are invaluable devices that provide us with power during outages, emergencies, or when we need electricity in remote locations. However, improper use of generators can lead to accidents, fires, and even fatalities. To ensure the safe and effective operation of generators, it’s essential to follow proper guidelines. In this blog, we will delve into Generator Safety 101, covering everything from installation to maintenance. 

1. Choosing the Right Generator

Before diving into the technical aspects of generator safety, it’s crucial to start with the basics: selecting the right generator. Factors to consider include power output, fuel type (gasoline, propane, natural gas, or diesel), and intended use (standby or portable). 

  • Power Output: Calculate your power needs to determine the generator’s wattage capacity required. This will prevent overloading, a common cause of generator damage. 
  • Fuel Type: Choose a fuel type that aligns with your needs and availability. Propane and natural gas generators are more eco-friendly, while diesel generators provide long-term durability. 

2. Proper Installation 

Once you have the right generator, proper installation is paramount to safety and performance. It’s recommended to consult a professional for this step, as improper installation can lead to deadly consequences. 

  • Location: Place your generator in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from flammable materials and at least 5 feet from your home. Adequate ventilation prevents carbon monoxide buildup. 
  • Electrical Connections: Ensure correct electrical connections to prevent backfeeding into power lines, which can endanger utility workers and cause fires. 

3. Fuel Safety

Fuel handling is another critical aspect of generator safety. 

  • Fuel Storage: Store fuel in approved containers and in a well-ventilated, secure location, away from open flames and children. 
  • Regular Fuel Checks: Regularly check fuel levels and quality, and replace old fuel to avoid clogs and damage to the generator. 

4. Start-up Procedures


Starting a generator should be done with care to prevent accidents. 

  • Sequence: Follow the manufacturer’s recommended startup sequence, usually involving turning on the generator first and then connecting appliances or equipment. 
  • Warm-Up: Allow the generator to warm up for a few minutes before connecting loads. 

5. Load Management


Overloading a generator can cause it to fail or even start a fire. 

  • Load Shedding: Prioritize essential appliances and distribute the load evenly to avoid overloading. 


6. Regular Maintenance


Proper maintenance is essential for the longevity and safety of your generator. 

  • Scheduled Inspections: Regularly inspect the generator, wiring, and connections for wear and tear. Address any issues promptly. 
  • Oil and Filter Changes: Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for oil and filter changes. 

7. Carbon Monoxide Awareness


Carbon monoxide (CO) is a silent killer produced by generators. 

  • Ventilation: Always operate the generator in a well-ventilated area and use CO detectors in enclosed spaces. 

8. Emergency Shutdown


Knowing how to shutdown the generator in an emergency is crucial. 

  • Emergency Stop: Familiarize yourself with the emergency stop button or switch and its location.

Contact Northside Power Today

Adhering to proper generator safety guidelines is essential to ensure the safe and efficient operation of these invaluable devices. While these guidelines can significantly reduce the risk of accidents, there are instances where professional assistance becomes indispensable. 

In business since 1978, Northside Power offers standby generator service, sales, and installation. Regardless of your generator needs, we can help. Our team of professionals at Northside Power provides excellent service regardless of the weather. Contact our office at (501) 315-7213 to get your free quotes today. 

Remember, when it comes to generator safety, it’s always better to be overly cautious than to take unnecessary risks. By following these guidelines and seeking professional assistance when needed, you can ensure that your generator serves as a reliable source of power during critical times while keeping your family and property safe.