Often, the most difficult part of Mother Nature’s wrath isn’t the storm itself, but the aftermath. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and other intense storms can leave monumental damage in their wake; damage that can take weeks and even months to repair.
It’s why government organizations encourage citizens to be prepared ahead of time with emergency preparedness kits that include everything from food and water to even a portable generator.
What is a Portable Generator?
A generator is a large appliance that produces energy. It typically serves as a backup power source for homes and businesses in order to prevent disruption during short-term power outages.
However, there are smaller versions of this appliance called portable generators. As the name suggests, they can be moved from one location to another on an “as needed” basis.
Many homeowners or businesses keep a portable generator on-hand as part of their “emergency preparedness plan”. Whether the power outage spans a few minutes or a few weeks, these handy appliances will keep you up and running so long as you have the fuel to power them.
Depending on the type of generator you purchase, this fuel may come in the form of gasoline, natural gas, or propane gas.
The Advantages of a Portable Generator
A portable generator isn’t just a convenience. In times of need, such as long-term power outages, it can be an essential survival element. We don’t realize how prevalent energy is to our daily lives until we are forced to live without it.
It’s an all-too-common scenario. According to The Economist, natural disasters are on a steady rise across the globe. They often strike with little or no warning and your level of preparation can and will determine how well you fare.
A portable propane generator can power:
- Air Conditioning Units
- Electrical Communication
- Water Pumps
Having one on hand during a natural disaster can provide you with running water, energy to cook, temperature regulation within your home, the ability to preserve food supplies, and more.
Portable Generators Are Multi-Use
These advantages can literally save lives. However, portable generators aren’t just for emergencies. Many individuals use them while camping or to provide power to caravans, sheds, and trailers.
There are different types of portable generators. Before you purchase one, make sure you do your research. Find a generator that is capable of producing the right amount of energy for its primary purpose.
Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Using a Portable Generator
There are certain dos and don’ts everyone should know prior to hooking up and using a portable generator.
Ventilation is Essential
Never operate a portable generator indoors. Instead, operate your generator in a location that is well-ventilated and away from openings within your home, such as doorways, windows, or vents.
You should never operate a generator inside of a room, including a garage. Even if you have the door open, running a generator in an enclosed space can produce a buildup of exhaust fumes.
These fumes are hazardous and should not be inhaled. To prevent this, always keep your generator outdoors and away from enclosed spaces.
Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms in Your Office or Residence
If you plan to use a portable generator or any gas appliance, it’s important to take precautions and install carbon monoxide alarms. Carbon monoxide is a gas that can easily go undetected. Colorless and odorless, it is extremely flammable and toxic.
Without alarms, carbon monoxide is often only detected when individuals start to experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. These symptoms include:
- Muscle Weakness
- Chest Pain
- Upset Stomach
The general nature of these symptoms makes it significantly more dangerous. More than 400 people die in the United States alone accidental carbon monoxide poisoning each year, not including cases caused by fires.
By installing carbon monoxide alarms within your home, you can detect this dangerous gas early and evacuate the home while you take the necessary measures to eliminate this silent threat.
Avoid Refueling a Portable Generator Currently in Operation
When running a portable generator for a long period of time, you’ll inevitably need to refuel. However, you never want to do this while the generator is running.
Instead, turn off the generator and give it time to cool down prior to refueling it. You should always store the generator fuel in a container that is properly labeled and store it in a safe location away from your residence.
Portable Generators Are Safe When Used Properly
These tips will keep you, your loved ones, and your home safe. While this guide may make it seem like portable generators are dangerous, it shouldn’t dissuade you from owning one.
A generator is perfectly safe when used properly. Like any appliance, improper use can lead to accidents which is why it’s important to understand it.
Never assume what the proper installation and maintenance practices are on your generator. Know how your generator works and ask questions if you’re unsure about something.
Never Run Out of Fuel with Propane Delivery
Whether you own a portable generator or you have a home with appliances that run on propane gas, it’s important to keep your fuel topped off. Let us help you keep your generators running with our propane delivery services.
You can fill out our online form and one of our professionals will be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you make an informed decision.