Incorrect use of home generators can kill - be safe this storm season : Energex

Before you fire up a generator this storm season, Energex is urging you to do your homework to keep everyone safe.

Work Group Leader Ryan Campbell said it is important to ensure your generator is in good working order before you use it and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

“Carbon monoxide poisoning is a real risk - this deadly gas is odourless and invisible so you cannot rely on your senses to detect it.

“You need to take lifesaving precautions for your own safety and to protect others – only use the generator in a well-ventilated area outdoors and away from any open windows, including your neighbours’.

“You can also use a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm, which works much like a smoke detector and sounds an alert when it senses dangerous levels of the deadly gas,” he said.

Energex also recommends changeover switches, which need to be installed at your property by a licenced electrical contractor.

“You should never connect your generator directly into the network because there’s a risk it might back-feed and cause an electric shock or worse to our workers on the line, so we recommend a changeover switch on your switchboard to isolate your property from the network for the safety of our crews and everyone in your neighbourhood,” Ryan said.

It’s also important not to overload your generator by running too many appliances.

“Generators have a maximum output capacity so we just need to be mindful of that rating and how much we are putting on to our generators and limit that to the things that are essential like fridges.

“It’s also something to consider when you’re investing in a generator – it pays to do your homework,” Ryan said.

An adequate fuel supply and safe storage should also be on your storm season checklist.

“There are risks around the storage of fuel, so make sure it’s in a safe space, out of direct sunlight and in a well-ventilated area,” Ryan said

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