Learn to safely use generators before you need them - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Learn to safely use generators before you need them

A man purchases a new portable generator in Florida. (Source: The Associated Press) A man purchases a new portable generator in Florida. (Source: The Associated Press)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

Having a generator, especially during hurricane season, is a wise choice, but before a big storm hits, you should make sure you know how to safely use it.

Billy Eason with Cape Fear Generators visited the WECT studios on Tuesday to talk about what you should know before you fire up your generator.

Ensuring portable generators are a safe distance from any opening to a home is key, as is having extension cords to connect essential appliances to the generator. You should make sure you have fresh fuel for the generator as well.

Never operate a portable generator indoors, in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation. Always use generators outdoors at a safe distance from doors, windows and vents. Cutting a 25-foot section of rope to measure off the distance from the nearest opening to the house can help ensure you're safe.

Be sure to practice fire safety with generators by not blocking exhausts and intakes. Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite. Always store fuel outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass containers away from any fuel-burning appliance. 

Electrical hazards can also occur if you use your generator improperly. Never plug the generator into a wall outlet to provide emergency power to your home. This practice, known as backfeeding, creates an electrocution risk to utility workers and others served by the same utility transformer and is a violation of national electric codes. 

For more information, visit the Cape Fear Generators website.

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