How Do You Use a Generator During a Power Outage? A Step-by-Step Guide 

Emergency generator

Using a generator during a power outage is a great way to keep your business safe and functional, as long as you’re using the generator safely. Therefore, it’s essential to know ahead of time what you need to do before, during, and after turning your backup generator on. 

1. Place the Generator Properly 

Generators need to be in well-ventilated outdoor areas in order to be safe. They produce fumes that you do not want inside your place of business or construction site. Place them in a dry, outdoor spot at least 20 feet away from all buildings. Ensure it is not near a window or door. Also, make sure it is in a spot where it will not get wet.    Even though they may fit just fine, you should never place a portable generator indoors. 

2. Fuel the Generator When Safe 

You can add fuel to a generator before you turn it on. Store the fuel in another dry, outdoor spot away from the generator itself. Also, be sure to know your local regulations about storing the specific kind of fuel that you are using.  What if you need to refuel your generator during use? In this case, you’ll need to turn it off and let it cool to a safe temperature before adding more fuel. Spilling fuel on a hot generator could create a fire, result in injury, or damage the generator.   Have questions about using a generator during a power outage? Contact the experts at VCM Solutions today!

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3. Connect the Generator to the Building 

For it to be useful, a generator must be connected to your building. But first, you’ll need to turn off the building’s lights, appliances, and other equipment so that they do not demand all the start-up energy needed to turn on the generator. Remember, even if the power is off in your building, you’ll still need to flick off all the switches.  Then, properly connect your generator to your building as described in its manual or previously explained by the company you purchased or rented the generator from. Use only proper safety cords that are rated for the amount of power your generator creates.  Once you’ve turned on the generator as per its instructions, you can flick on your lights and appliances, and other equipment. Remember that they draw more power when first turned on and have a more even power draw once they’ve running for some time.  

4. Know How to Shut Down the Generator 

Turning off your appliances, equipment, and light switches again is ideal before you turn the generator itself off. Then, after you have turned the generator off, you may need to drain its fuel.  You may also need to maintain the generator before the next time you use it. It all depends on the specific needs of the generator and if you own or are renting the equipment. 

Work With an Expert

If you have other questions like, “how do generators work without electricity?” or, “which kind of generator do I need for a home?” we can help. Reach out to the team at VCM Solutions today.