Given the untimely death of Douglas Okello last week, more information on which can be found here (hyperlink to the other article), the safety precautions while handling a generator were bound to follow. So, without further ado, here are the most common ones. • Double-check the exhaust system: The exhaust fumes from a generator are highly noxious. The major compound found in these fumes is carbon monoxide. The modern diesel generators don’t wish to be responsible for the death of another human now. Ask the installation guy to recheck the exhaust system before switching it on. Also, you need to check it before every use.
• Keep a fire-extinguisher within arm’s reach: There is a negligible risk of fire with a diesel generator, but if you own a gas generator, a fire-extinguisher is a must in the vicinity. However, take heed that the extinguisher does not operate on carbon tetrachloride, else you might burn the insulation to ashes. It is always better to prevent the occurrence of fire by keeping flammable devices away from the generator.
• Check the insulation regularly: Dismantle the canopy at least once every month in order to check the insulation. This is necessary, especially if the generator is regularly subjected to extreme temperature conditions. Check the grounding too at regular intervals. Also, the cords and cables need to be of the recommended capacity.
Regardless the use to which the generator is put, a thorough maintenance should be carried out at least once a year. The maintenance should involve everything, ranging from cleaning the cooling system and checking for leakages, right down to analyzing the output and readjusting the wires. Ideally, the generator needs to be serviced every six months.