When a power outage strikes, it’s important to have a propane generator to help keep your home and appliances running. But before you go out and buy one, make sure it’s safe for use.
Gas generators are dangerous and must be used with extreme caution. They produce toxic fumes that can be fatal if inhaled.
Propane generators can be extremely dangerous if not used correctly. This is especially true if they are installed in a non-ventilated area.
A propane generator that is left in an area without proper ventilation can emit a toxic gas known as Carbon Monoxide, which can be fatal to anyone who enters the space.
To avoid this danger, have your propane system and appliances inspected periodically by a professional.
Also, store fuel in properly-labeled, non-glass safety containers outside your living space. Never store combustible materials near your propane equipment.
Always have your propane generator inspected before use and before it is refueled by an experienced service technician. This is especially important if you are using your generator during a power outage.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
A carbon monoxide detector can be used to alert a user or disable a generator if a predetermined level of CO is detected. The sensor may also be able to wait for a specified time period before shutting down the generator.
Carbon monoxide vapors produced by engines are colorless, odorless and very dangerous. They can cause respiratory problems, headaches and dizziness if not treated quickly.
To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, only use generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas with open windows and doors. Never operate a generator indoors, or in partially enclosed spaces such as homes, garages and crawl spaces.
To protect yourself and your family, install a UL-listed battery-operated CO detector on each floor of your home. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on installation, location and maintenance.
When you have a propane generator, it is important to make sure you have enough fuel to run it. That is why a propane tank gauge is an essential part of your propane generator safety system.
A propane gauge sits under the dome of your propane tank. It looks like an old-style meat thermometer.
This gauge shows you how much fuel you have left in your tank based on the gauge percentage that you set. When the gauge reaches 80%, you know it is time to call for fuel.
Propane is a clean burning fuel, which means it releases less carbon monoxide than gasoline and diesel. This translates into cleaner air inside your home and makes for a safer and healthier environment to be in.
Using a regulator allows propane to be “bottlenecked” down to the required pressure for household appliances and is an important safety measure. This process eliminates the possibility of overheating, which can damage or destroy a generator and its components.
A voltage regulator also helps ensure that the generator delivers sufficient wattage to power the most vital appliances in your home. These might include electric water heaters, portable space heaters, medical equipment, sump or well pumps and air conditioning.
The best propane generator for your needs will be one with a large tank, plenty of watts and an easy-to-read gauge. This will give you peace of mind and help you avoid costly outages or unexpected breakdowns.