Any time you use a petrol generator, you run two main risks: electric shocks from poor connections or improper use, and fires from bad fuel discipline. Alongside these risks there are several equally dangerous, but less common ones – carbon monoxide poisoning, leaks and spills, etc. We have written this handy guide to keep you safe when you use your generator, so read on for some top safety guidelines:
Check your petrol generator
Every time you use, move or store your petrol powered generator, check it over. Make sure that fuel lines are intact and well connected, check the unit is clean and dry and look for any obvious leaks or fuel spilled over the sides.
Make sure that, wherever you position your generator, it is well ventilated on all sides. This will not only disperse any toxic fumes, but it will also keep the unit cool during operation. On the same basis, if you are using your generator outside, keep it away from doors and windows, as exhaust fumes can enter and quickly build up, becoming major health hazards.
Filling the fuel tank is almost inevitably going to lead to spills, and an older or poorly looked after generator will also be susceptible to springing a leak – either in the tank or in the fuel lines. You can be proactive here and place your generator on a purpose-designed generator spill tray. These are packed with absorbent materials to ensure that spilled or leaked fuel does not enter the environment – particularly important when using a generator outdoors where the petrol has the chance to get into the broader ecosystem.
Keep it dry
Electricity and water don’t mix: or at least they don’t mix in any useful, constructive way. Keep your generator dry at all times (even when not in use) and make sure you never touch it with wet hands. You can use an open-walled canopy to keep it dry outdoors, but you should completely avoid using it in rainy conditions.
Don’t plug it into the mains
You might be tempted to simply plug the generator into your main circuit, in the hopes of powering the building in the event of a power loss. Don’t. The two systems are not designed to work together and you’ll risk any number of issues, including overheating, overpowering and causing electric shocks or equipment damage.
Use with care
Always make sure that any connections to your generator are secure and there are no bare wires exposed. Use the correct type of fuel for your unit, and make sure that it is turned off and cooled down before you refill it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions at all times, and always place your generator on a stable, flat surface.