Generators can be lifesavers, sometimes even literally. Even in a technologically advanced nation such as the UK, it’s impossible to guarantee an uninterrupted power supply 100% of the time. Industrial generators are essential to manufacturing, commerce and virtually all public services but it’s also very useful to have a smaller model on hand as a back-up in domestic environments. You won’t need anything very large and it’s relatively easy to find all kinds of portable generator for sale in the UK. However, it’s important to remember that, as with any form of electrical equipment, the safe use of a generator requires you to follow certain rules. Inherent risks include carbon monoxide poisoning, fires and even electrocution.
A power generator must never be used in an enclosed area. Many homes and businesses don’t have unlimited space but it’s a serious mistake to position a generator in a place which has poor ventilation or insufficient room for air to circulate. The reason for this is to avoid the possibility of carbon monoxide building up, which can cause poisoning. Carbon monoxide is invisible and in excessive quantities, can be lethal.
Generators are robust machines but they produce electricity, which can be dangerous in wet conditions. Electricity and water do not mix, so you should ensure that your generator is kept dry. A damp basement or a leaky attic is no place for a generator, and placing it outside is simply asking for trouble. You shouldn’t even turn it on or off with wet hands.
It’s quite likely that you’ll need to use extension leads to connect your appliance to the generator. Don’t assume that you can simply use a standard extension or gang-socket for this. The power loads generated will usually be much greater than a basic domestic cable can handle, so you’d be risking overloads and possible fires. Always use heavy-duty cables rated for outdoor use – even though your generator is indoors. Check the specifications in the user’s manual and only use cabling which has the correct capacity.
When you need to refill your generator, do so with great care. Wait until the unit is cold and when adding the fuel, avoid any spillages. If any of the fuel does spill, it must be cleared up as soon as possible because if even a small amount is left, this could catch fire and cause serious consequences.
Any back-up fuel must be stored safely, away from living or working areas in secure containers that are clearly marked. Fuel is always potentially hazardous.
Finding a Portable Generator for Sale
It may be tempting to go for a cheap option and buy your generator second-hand from a marketplace such as eBay. This is unwise because you’ll have no guarantee that it is in safe working order. Always use reputable suppliers, many of whom will offer professionally refurbished models as an alternative to new ones.
A safe and efficient generator is indispensable for both householders and businesses but it must be used and maintained responsibly. It’s convenient but it carries many possible risks. If in doubt about any of the safety issues surrounding portable or fixed generators, always seek expert advice.