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What you need to know about using a generator

Gusty winds from Hurricane Michael could cause power outages in Central Georgia, if you plan on using a generator there a few important tips to keep in mind

MACON, Ga. — 13WMAZ spoke with Johnny Davis at Karston and Denson, a local hardware store.

Davis says you should never hook your generator up in a closed space. The best place for it is outside. If you have it running in your home or even garage, you’re at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“One of the most important aspects, as far as safety goes, us where you’re going to put the generator,” Davis said. “It needs to be out in an area that has four completely open sides so there can be plenty of air flow so there’s no carbon monoxide buildup.”

Another thing to remember is the size and type of power cord you plan on using matters. Davis says it’s important to use a cord that has the right wattage. Otherwise, it can strain your generator, causing damage to the equipment and appliances you have plugged into it.

“The more strain there is on the engine the less combustion you get,” Davis said. “Therefore you get more carbon-monoxide and that’s a safety hazard.”

The last helpful tip is how to determine if your generator is overloaded.

“If you plug in too much the generator will start to strain,” Davis said. “The lights in the house might start to flicker, that might be an indication that you’re overloading the generator – it might not cut off, but it’s straining and even though it’s still delivering power – that can be damaging to some appliances.”

Davis also suggests checking your generator before you use it the first time. If there was any gas left in from prior use, that can turn to a jelly like substance and ruin your generator. He also says to remember to keep it away from water and anything else that might make it cause a spark.