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11-21-05 Safety tips


  Portable generators always should be placed outdoors away from attached garages and basements. Just opening a door or window for ventilation is not adequate, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

  The following are other suggestions for purchasing and using portable generators:

   Choose the right size for your individual needs. For example, 1,000 watts of power will keep a refrigerator running; another 1,000 watts will be needed for a freezer. More wattage is required to start these appliances than is needed to keep them running.

  A licensed electrician or the local electric utility company would be good reference sources.

   Install a double-throw transfer switch for the generator to safely separate the power produced by it from utility lines coming into your residence.    Keep a generator in a dry area and elevate it off the ground. Don't touch it if your hands are wet.

   Use heavy-duty outdoor extension cords rated for the wattage; use grounded three-prong cords only.

   Keep fuel a safe distance from the generator but not inside the house. Before refueling, turn the generator off and allow it to cool down.

   If you start to feel dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately. Seek medical attention.

   Shelley Grieshop


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