AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – If you plan to buy a generator for this season it’s important to know how to use them safely to prevent hazardous outcomes.
That can be fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and even electrocution. 22News went to the Agawam Fire Department to find out what safety precautions first time buyers should take when using a generator.
First, know what to purchase. Deputy Fire Chief Frank Matuszczak told 22News, you want to make sure your generator is approved by a nationally recognized testing agency.
“The most important thing is to make sure it is UL Rated,” Fire Chief Matuszczak advised. “Make sure it has a UL rating that it is not a third party generator that does not have any safety ratings what so ever.”
Second, have a licensed electrician install a transfer switch and never plug a generator into a wall directly.
Rocky’s Ace Hardware said you should be mindful of what cords you buy.
Store manager Joe Ovelheiro explained, “If you go with something that is a smaller gauge and you’re running it outside the house which you should, it’s not going to carry the load, so you are going to burn the extension cord, it can even catch on fire.'”
Find a safe and dry location to place the generator in. Generators should be outdoors and 5 to 10 feet away from the house. It should also face away from doors, windows, and vents.
Fuel used for your generator should be stored in a dry and safe place away from the house. And know that even a properly connected, a portable generator can still become overloaded, resulting in overheating or generator failure.