Generators produce carbon monoxide (CO). All types of generators, including diesel, gasoline, propane, and natural gas generators, produce this harmful gas. It is estimated that nearly 900 people died due to CO poisoning between 2005 and 2017.
Understanding the risks of CO poisoning is important. Here you will learn all there it is to know about the precautions you should take when operating a Generac generator.
About Carbon Monoxide Gas
CO is an odorless and colorless gas that will kill without any warning. People can die within 5 minutes of exposure to a high concentration of the gas, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Many people don’t know that generator produces CO gas. They operate the generator in enclosed spaces such as the garage, basement, or the porch. This allows the gas to slowly seep inside the house, killing the occupants.
The symptoms of CO poisoning are different, they include:
- Shortness of Breath
If you experience any of the above symptoms when the generator is running, you should immediately leave the house. Staying inside the room could be fatal. You must get fresh air and call for medical assistance.
To avoid CO poisoning, it is important that you follow safety advice when operating the generator. Here are some safety tips that you should follow when operating the generator.
1. Always Operate Generator in Open Spaces
You should NEVER operate a generator inside homes, crawlspaces, sheds, garages, or other enclosed areas. Deadly levels of harmful gas buildup and can remain for hours in such spaces even when the generator is shut down.
Contrary to popular belief, keeping the garage door or windows open does not provide proper ventilation to prevent the accumulation of CO gas. Moreover, using fans does not prevent the accumulation of deadly gas in enclosed spaces.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that the generator should be operated at least 10 feet away from the house. Moreover, the exhaust of the generator should not be facing the windows, doors, and vents.
2. Install CO Alarms
Installing CO alarms inside the house are also recommended to prevent poisoning due to exposure to harmful gas. The alarms should be kept outside every sleeping area inside the home.
Also, make sure that the alarm is battery operated. This will ensure that the alarm remains operational even in the case of a blackout. You should follow the instructions about replacing the alarm battery. This means testing the batteries every month to ensure that the alarm is operating properly.
3. Buy a Generator with UL Safety Labels
Consider buying a generator with the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) 2201 or Portable Manufacturers Association’s (PMG) G300 standards. Generators that meet the standards shut down automatically when the concentration of CO gas is detected near the equipment.
Generators complying with the UL 2201 and PMG G300 standards reduce the risk of CO poisoning. The extra cost of the generators as compared to non-compliant generators is justified due to the safety of the household members.
4. Maintain the Generator Regularly
Regular generator maintenance is critical to avoid CO poisoning. A faulty generator produces excess harmful gas. You should call a Generac generator repair company for inspection and repair of a generator at least once a year.
When you get the generator checked regularly, it will ensure the proper operating of the generator. Regular maintenance will prevent excess CO gas buildup. Moreover, it will ensure that you have backup power when needed during a blackout.
Contact Generac Superstore for generator maintenance in Huntsville, AL. We deal with the sale, service, and repair of Generac generators. Call (855) 880-1880 today for professional generator repair and maintenance in Huntsville and Birmingham, AL, and Nashville, TN.