Do’s & Don’ts of Operating a Portable Generator

Posted on November 19, 2019

image of three different generators sold by BN Products

A portable generator is a great tool to have when the lights go out, or when you need to supply power to a job site. With help from the experts at BN Products-USA, LLC, you’ll get a quality and reliable machine, but there are some safety tips you should be aware of while operating one of our generators. Here’s a quick guide on some operating do’s and don’ts. 

When Operating a Portable Generator – The Do’s:

DO stop the generator to refuel

A running generator can cause a significant amount of heat, and can ignite flammable liquids if they spill onto hot components. To avoid a fire, turn the generator off before you refuel it. You should also let it cool down before adding more fuel, to further eliminate the risk of a fire. You might be tempted to leave your gasoline or kerosene nearby, but try to avoid storing these liquids near the generator during operation. 

DO wear noise-cancelling gear

Generators are internal combustion engines that produce electricity, and thus a lot of vibration and noise. If you are working near a generator for a long period of time, consider wearing earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to prevent hearing damage. You should also keep the machine as far away as possible from either the house or the work site to prevent hearing complications. 

DO provide proper ventilation

Poorly ventilated generators can cause a build-up of carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless and odorless gas that’s extremely deadly. To prevent this, make sure that your generator has plenty of room on all sides to draw in fresh air as well as give off exhaust. OSHA recommends that you leave three to four feet of clearance space around the machine, and know the signs of CO poisoning. 

When Operating a Portable Generator – The Don’ts:

DON’T use the generator indoors

A portable generator is not meant to be used indoors. It should always be placed outdoors, at least 20 feet away from your home or work site. Operating a generator indoors, even in the garage, can cause a fire or a build-up of deadly gas and fumes. Make sure that your generator is placed outdoors. Placing it near doors, windows, or electrical wires is not considered safe. 

DON’T use in the rain

Never run your generator in the rain. Because of the electrical current that it produces, water running off of it and onto the ground could become electrically charged, causing injury when you step in the puddle. If you need to use your machine in the rain, make sure you purchase a tent or some sort of covering that can shield it from the elements, but allow it to properly ventilate. You can also use ground fault circuit interrupters to keep the surrounding wet ground safe from electrical charge. 

DON’T overload

Avoid overloading your generator, and only use the outlets provided. Plugging in splitters and running additional cords can cause the generator to run excessively and overheat. This can lead to blown fuses and short circuits. It also increases the chance of a fire and damaged outlets. Always make sure that the extension cords are compatible with the electrical output on the generator and that you install a transfer switch if you want to hook the generator up to your circuit panel.  

A portable generator is a great tool to have in case of emergencies or if you need temporary power on a construction site. As a designated distributor for job site generators in Wickenburg, AZ, BN Products-USA, LLC has a great selection to choose from. To inquire about our inventory, give us a call today at (800) 992-3833