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Generator Safety to Keep in Mind This Winter

It’s the middle of a nor’easter. The wind is howling. You peek out the window and see nothing but a white sheet of blowing snow.

You’re happy to be inside, cozy and warm, three hours into a television binge with the thermostat set to whatever you think a thermostat should be set to.

Then, in an instant, darkness. The electricity is out and you have no idea if it will be back on in two minutes or two days.

Many folks faced with such a situation turn to portable generators, which can be convenient solutions for temporarily running an appliance or well pump so long as you keep safety top of mind.

Here are a few tips from the National Fire Protection Association

  • Generators should be used in well-ventilated locations outside, away from doors, windows and vent openings.
  • Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
  • Position generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter your home through windows, doors or other openings.
  • Make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home installed according to manufacturer instructions.
  • Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it’s hot.
  • Store generator fuel in a properly labeled container intended for fuel storage. Store such containers outside living areas.

Unlike portable generators, standby generators spring into action automatically when the power fails. Standby generators can help prevent damage and, subsequently, homeowners insurance claims.

Imagine you’re on vacation and your home loses power. A standby generator could keep your heat running, helping to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.

Homeowners with standby generators should check with their insurance agents to see if their homeowners coverage includes home systems protection. This coverage safeguards against costly mechanical failures of equipment including floor heating systems, well pumps and, of course, emergency generators.

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