Should You Purchase a Generator for Your Home?
It is always a shock to discover how dependent we are on electricity. Most of us rely on electricity to cook our food, cool our homes, and connect us to the world through the phone or computer. When a powerful storm knocks out the power, many people are helpless.
This is why many homeowners are purchasing generators. Should you get one? And if you do, how do you operate it safely? Generators actually can create many hazards, and you could be doing more harm than good if you buy one without adequate knowledge of how to use it properly.
Why You Should Get a Generator
If a hurricane or tropical storm hits, you could be without power for days. With social distancing required by the covid-19 pandemic, many utility companies are reporting that they will be taking longer this season to get the lights back on. This means that you might go a week or more without any electricity. If a hurricane hits in 2020, many people will need to spend more time away from their home, which costs them money.
A generator is often a sensible purchase. Consumers also have many options. Consumer Reports recommends that people buy stationary generators that turn on automatically when the power goes out. This can be a great purchase, though expensive. Expect to pay several thousand dollars for one of these generators. Also, it might take weeks to get installed properly, since you will need an electrician to help with the wiring.
Another option is a portable generator. The word “portable” is a little bit of a misnomer, since these are incredibly heavy. However, they usually have wheels, hence the portable tag. This type of generator is much less expensive than stationary models. You do have to go out and turn it on, though, which can be a hassle as a storm rages.
Portable generators use gasoline, and a 7,000-watt generator uses 12-20 gallons a day if you run it continuously. Although portable generators are convenient, you should consider having an electrician install a transfer switch in your home, which increases the safety. Otherwise, you will need to run extension cords from the generator to your home, which increases the odds of a fire or electrocution.
Move the Generator away from Your House
You should never use a generator inside, since they give off carbon monoxide, which can kill you. Nor should you run it in an enclosed space like a shed or your garage. Instead, put the generator outdoors at least 20 feet away from the windows and doors. Ensure the exhaust engine is pointed away from windows and doors.
If you want to run the generator in the rain, then make sure that you have an umbrella over it. You can purchase these at a hardware store or online.
Over 900 people died from 2005 to 2017 from carbon monoxide poisoning related to generator use. Thousands more suffered serious injuries, even if not fatal. It is incumbent on everyone to practice generator safety.
Were You Injured by a Generator?
Bundza & Rodriguez has helped many personal injury victims receive compensation after a storm. For information about whether you have a claim, contact our Daytona Beach personal injury attorneys at 386-252-5170 to schedule a free consultation.