But generators can be dangerous if safety precautions aren't met. Here are seven ways to make sure you stay safe while using a generator:
1) Make sure to place your generator in a dry environment
Rain or snow could increase the risk of being electrocuted
Alex Junco (left) loads his newly purchased generator into his car outside of Costco in Pompano Beach after Tropical Storm Dorian became a hurricane and is forecast to strike Florida as a major Category 3 storm, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. (John McCall
2) Make sure to place your generator outdoors and not directly next to the home
Never use generators inside, as their exhaust can lead to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators should be placed away from windows and doors to keep exhaust out of homes.
3) Have a licensed electrician install your generator
LYNN HAVEN, FL - OCTOBER 17: Pete Hall, a disabled veteran, gets gasoline to help keep his generator and medical devices running until power, which was knocked out by Hurricane Michael, gets restored to his home on October 17, 2018 in Lynn Haven, Flo
It’s not safe to plug your generator into a wall outlet. Make sure a licensed electrician correctly installs your generator to your home’s main electrical panel.
4) Get an annual inspection for your generator
Make sure to get a yearly inspection so that your generator is safe to use in the event of a major storm or power outage. You don’t want to wait until your power is already out to see if it is safe to use.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - OCTOBER 05: A portable generator is loaded onto a car as South Florida residents prepare for Hurricane Matthew on October 5, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The hurricane has pounded Jamaica and Haiti on its way north toward t
5) Keep a proper amount of fuel at all times
Since storms are unpredictable, as well as other situations that cause power outages, it is best always to keep a sufficient amount of fuel so that you are always prepared. Make sure to store the fuel in a safe, dry place.
6) Turn your generator off before adding fuel
If your generator is low on fuel, make sure to turn it off entirely and let it cool down before adding any more.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - OCTOBER 05: South Florida resident James Balboni puts gas in a generator in preparation for Hurricane Matthew on October 5, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The hurricane has pounded Jamaica and Haiti on its way north toward th
7) Plug devices directly into the generator
It is best to plug devices and appliances directly into the generator or into heavy-duty extension cords.