Generators are a common feature of Nigerian homes. Due to the failing power supply in the country, it is only normal that people find other sources of generating power for themselves. And so, on a normal night in an average town in Nigeria, it is not surprising to hear the sound of generator engines supplying light to houses. Almost every home in the cities has generators. Even houses in rural towns, that receive less power supply, use generators just as often. From houses to schools to churches and even malls and banks, everyone is running generators. From big mikano generators, to small ‘I-pass-my-neighbour‘ tiger generators, there’s always a generator around. In fact, a study said that 60 million Nigerians use generators.
In the past, there have been stories of generator use leading to incidents like fire, explosions, and even deaths. This has made some people very scared of owning one. But generators are not inherently dangerous. You just have to be careful when using them.
That is why today, we would be looking at some safety tips you can follow when using your generator.
1. Use Your Generator Outside
This point cannot be stressed enough. On no account should you attempt to use your generator inside your room. This is because of the carbon monoxide fumes it produces, which can be very dangerous when inhaled and could lead to death. Do not even think of putting the generator in your parlor while you sleep in the room.
Use it outside the house only. Even as it is outside the house, make sure the exhaust is not near your window or your door. If you are worried about the generator being spoiled by rain, you can use a board or roofing sheet to cover it when it rains. If you are scared of theft, you can look for ways to firmly secure the generator to prevent it from being stolen. But you should never attempt to use your generator inside the house.
2. Do Not Attempt To Fuel It While It Is Running
One dangerous practice some people engage in is to fuel the generator while it is still running. This is usually done to prevent the generator from going off completely. But this can be quite dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Any small spark from the generator while fueling it could result in a fire or an explosion. Instead, you should wait for when the generator is off and cool before pouring fuel into it. So in summary, if you run out of fuel, turn the generator off and let it cool before refueling.
3. Keep Your Generator Dry
To prevent electrical risks, keep your generator dry always. This means that you should protect it from rain or not put it in a place where water comes in contact with it regularly. You can place it under a shed or use something wide to cover the top to keep it dry. Also, avoid touching the generator with wet hands to prevent electrocution. Properly wipe your hands before you touch the generator.
4. Make Sure It Is Properly Plugged In
Another tip that would keep you safe is to make sure that you properly plug in your generator. Avoid using bare wires and connect them to a plug instead so you can safely attach the plug to the outlet on the generator. Avoid plugging your generator directly to an outlet on the wall. This process is known as “backfeeding” and it could be very dangerous.
5. Conduct Regular Inspection and Maintenance
Keeping your generator well maintained would cut down a lot of risks and make it safe to use. As soon as you notice anything wrong with your generator, call a technician for repairs. Leaving the problem could make it worse and more expensive to fix. It would also affect the performance of the generator. Conducting regular inspections would make you detect problems before they become noticeable, so they can be fixed.