Let’s discuss the dark side of home generators…
If you are intrigued by the idea of having a backup generator in case the power goes out, or from a tree falling on a power line, then you are not alone. Backup generators have become very popular since they have become more affordable for homeowners.
However, they do have a DARK side. In this article, we’ll discuss the following:
- What is a generator?
- Which one should I get?
- What are the common dangers associated with generators?
What is a generator?
Simply put, a generator is an alternative way to generate electricity in case of a power outage. They can be powered by:
They also come in two varieties:
- Permanently installed and wired into your electrical system
Which one should I get?
It depends on a few factors. First, what kind of budget do you have?
- Portable generators start at about $400-$500 dollars.
- Permanently installed systems installed can run up to $10,000 or more
Secondly, what do you want to be able to do if the power goes out? Remember, the more things you want to run, the more wattage you will use. Generators are rated by the number of watts they generate.
How to do this?
- Step 1: Count the number of light bulbs on the circuits you want to operate. Add up all of the wattage of the lamps. (Although often more expensive, it is good to use LED bulbs that hardly use any electricity)
- Step 2: Count the number of appliances that you want to be able to use. Add up the wattage of all of the appliances.
- Combine the total of all wattages from steps 1 and 2.
- Now choose a generator that uses MORE than you require. Why? There is an initial surge required to start up all appliances that is higher than normal. Otherwise, you will damage your new generator or appliances.
- Are you stumped? Contact a licensed electrical contractor to help you calculate the correct load.
What are the common dangers of using a generator?
1. Electrical dangers
First, this is not a DIY project. You know already about the dangers of electrical fires. Since this is your home, don’t you deserve to sleep well at night? Hire only a licensed electrical contractor that carries insurance to install this for you. Remember that electricity and water do not mix, so please don’t touch your generator with wet hands.
2. Never use a portable generator inside your home
Did you know that the by-product of a generator is carbon monoxide? Carbon monoxide kills people in their sleep. Sadly, hundreds of people die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year. Now you can see why we encourage people to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes! So let’s repeat that again…
NEVER under any circumstances use a portable generator inside your home. This includes:
- Your basement
- Your attached garage
3. Never store gasoline or propane inside your home or garage
Store all propane away from your home outdoors.
We hope these generator safety tips help protect you and your family for many years to come. If there is anything we can do to help you please reach out to us at insurancehub.com.