Power outages can be a major inconvenience, disrupting daily life and causing frustration. In such situations, generators can be a lifesaver, providing temporary electricity to keep essential appliances running. However, improper use of generators can pose serious safety hazards.

Here’s a simple guide on how to safely use a generator during power outages.

Choose the Right Generator

Consider factors such as wattage capacity, fuel type (gasoline, diesel, or propane), and portability. Determine your household’s power needs to ensure the generator can handle the load without overloading.


Place the generator in a well-ventilated outdoor area away from windows, doors, and vents to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Keep it on a dry, level surface to minimize the risk of electrical shock. Avoid operating the generator in enclosed spaces like garages or basements. The more open space the generator has to function in, the better!

Read the Manual

Before operating the generator, thoroughly read the manufacturer’s manual for setup, usage, and maintenance instructions. Familiarize yourself with safety precautions, including how to properly ground the generator and use extension cords.

Grounding the Generator

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for grounding the generator using grounding rods and wires. Never remove grounding prongs from power cords or use ungrounded outlets.

Fuel Safety

Store fuel in approved containers in a well-ventilated area away from living spaces. Only use fresh, stabilized fuel recommended by the generator manufacturer. Avoid overfilling the fuel tank; never refuel while the generator is running or hot.

Avoid Overloading

Overloading the generator can damage appliances and pose fire risks. Prioritize essential appliances and distribute the load evenly across multiple outlets if available. Use a wattage meter to monitor power usage and prevent overload.

Use Proper Extension Cords

Use heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cords suitable for the generator’s wattage output. Avoid using damaged or frayed cords; ensure they’re rated for the appliances you’re powering. Keep cords away from high-traffic areas to prevent tripping hazards.

Regular Maintenance

Perform routine maintenance according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to keep the generator in optimal condition. This includes checking oil levels, replacing air filters, and inspecting for any signs of wear or damage. Schedule professional servicing to do a safe and thorough inspection.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, so installing battery-operated CO detectors in your home, especially near sleeping areas, is important. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. If you suspect CO exposure, evacuate the area immediately and seek medical attention.

Shut Down Safely

Before refueling or performing maintenance, turn off the generator and allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes. Never operate the generator in wet conditions or extreme weather unless it’s designed for outdoor use. Secure the generator from theft or tampering when not in use.

For professional electrical services and generator installations, request a quote from our team at Kazar’s Electric. Ensure your home has a reliable backup power solution for unforeseen outages. Contact us today for peace of mind during emergencies.