Power Outage Preparedness & Portable Generator Tips

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September 14, 2012

Being prepared for a power outage is easier said than done. Having an emergency preparedness plan in place during a power interruption or weather disaster is imperative, helping make the situation much smoother.

Portable generators from Briggs & Stratton can be an important step to regaining control and protecting your family and possessions from harm. After you have selected a backup generator, here are a few tips that can help keep the power on through any storm.

Emergency Generator Testing

With no lights on, even familiar spaces will be difficult to navigate. The following items are extremely beneficial when preparing for an outage:

  • Emergency Flashlight - Keep a flashlight handy to find your way to your portable generator.
  • Generator Wattage - Determine what appliances you will be able to run with the wattage guide.
  • Generator Testing - Perform a dry run of your generator to make sure you are familiar of how you will operate it during a power outage.
  • Generator Storage/Set-Up - Keep your generator conveniently stored and identify a safe location for properly operating the generator outside, far away from doors and windows.
  • Electric Start - With an electric start portable generator, keep the battery charged.
  • Generator Lubrication - Run your backup generator occasionally to keep the engine well lubricated.
  • Generator Gasoline - Keep an adequate supply of fresh gasoline and small engine fuel stabilizer.

Managing Portable Generator Power & Electrical Cords

Difficulties often arise when you want to power appliances that are hard wired to your home electrical system such as a furnace fan, lighting or water pump. It’s important to plug in appliances to the portable generator carefully, avoiding any overload of the generator circuit breaker. The following extension cord safety tips will better your power outage preparedness plan:

Generator Extension Cord - Extension cords are the most common method for powering appliances in your home with a portable generator. Simply plug the cord into your generator and run it through an open door or window to the item you wish to power, careful not to overload the extension cord. Always use at a least 10 - 12 gauge extension cord and try to limit the length to less than 100 feet.
Extend a Panel Extension Cord - This multiple outlet extension cord eliminates the tangle of many cords. This heavy duty extension cord plugs into your 30 amp, 240v receptacle on your portable generator and delivers up to 7200 watts through multiple outlets.

After you have completed emergency generator testing:
Cool After Use - Allow your backup generator to adequately cool-down before storing.
Portable Generator Cover - Use a storage cover to keep the generator free of dirt and debris.

These power outage preparedness tips will help you in keeping your portable generator working as efficiently as possible when the electricity is out in your home. 

>>Talk to a Briggs & Stratton Dealer in your area today with any questions about portable generators and emergency preparedness! 

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