Ritchie Industries

Outdoor Power Equipment Institute Has Tips On Generator Safety

by Linda Schmid

OPEI has Valuable Tips for safe generator use:

Construction companies rely on generators to provide the power they need on-site and in case of a power outage or emergency. Generators power housing for workers, equipment, lighting, staff offices, and more.

“Construction companies need reliable power in tough environments. Generators will keep these businesses open and construction projects moving with the light and power they need,” says Kris Kiser, President and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of outdoor power equipment, small engines, battery power systems, portable generators, utility and personal transport vehicles, and golf cars. 

“Today’s generators offer a variety of features, and there is a product for every job,” add Kiser. “When purchasing or renting a generator, consider other equipment that could be useful such as a water pumps or chain saws. Also remember to buy outdoor-rated extension cords and fuel cans, as well as a carbon monoxide detector for any building or structure.”

Here are a few tips from OPEI for safe generator use:

Assess your project site needs. When purchasing a generator, determine how many kilowatts the job demands.

Subaru Portable Generator. Photo Courtesy of OPEI

Research online before you buy.

Speak with the staff at the store or ask questions online. Discuss:

1. Safety features 

2. Fueling and care instructions

3. Size of fueling tank

4. Circuit-breaker-protected outlet add-ons

5. Integrated fuel gauges 

6. Low tone mufflers 

7. Other features like fold-down handles and wheels 

for easy moving

• Keep outdoor-rated extension cords on hand. Be sure the cord
is long enough to place the generator a safe distance from your business or project site and is certified to carry the generator’s power load. 

•Identify the generator location. Keep it outside and away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Never use a generator inside. Give portable generators plenty of room for ventilation. Determine how to secure the generator.

Install a carbon monoxide detector. Add this safety device and be sure to keep extra batteries on hand.

Keep it dry. Before a storm hits, identify how to cover and vent the generator. Buy model-specific tents or covers.

Use the right fuel. Use a container designed to hold fuel that seals well. It is illegal to use any fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol in outdoor power equipment not designed for it (for more information visit www.LookBeforeYouPump.com).

Store fuel in a safe place away from heat sources. Label the can with the date of purchase and ethanol content. Check filled cans regularly and replenish them if needed. Fuel more than 30 days old should not be used in any outdoor power equipment and can phase separate. RB

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