Generators Can Solve a Homes Power Outage Problem

NOTE: September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Campaign.

First get the facts on how they work and how they help

MILWAUKEE (September 4, 2012) - Powerful storms have caused numerous widespread power outages in 2012, leaving residents looking for a permanent remedy to keep their families safe and comfortable.
“More and more, both portable and home standby generators are sought as immediate and permanent backup power solutions in the event of a utility power outage,” said Amanda Grandy, marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton Products Group.

Gasoline-powered portable generators typically power a few appliances, for a few hours at a time, after power goes out. Home standby generators are permanently installed and keep the power on when a home’s primary power source goes out, allowing homeowners to run more appliances continually like air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators, clothes washers/dryers and lights. Standby generators turn on automatically and operate on a home’s natural gas line or propane fuel source.

“Because safeguarding against a utility power outage may be a new concept for many families there can be some misconceptions about portable and standby generators and how they operate,” Grandy said.

The following are common generator myths and the facts to dispel such beliefs:

Myth: Portable generators and standby generators are the same thing.
Fact: Portable generators work well as an immediate solution during a power outage. They can power a wide range of essential items. Portable generators can also be used in multiple applications, like camping or tailgating. Standby generators are permanently installed, use your home’s existing fuel source (propane or natural gas) and turn on automatically during a power outage.

Myth: Portable generators can be operated anywhere on your property even inside your house or garage.
Fact: Safety first! Portable generators must always be operated outdoors and far from doors, windows, vents and other openings to prevent carbon monoxide – a poisonous, odorless, colorless, deadly gas from trapping inside the home or garage. Protect your family with a carbon monoxide alarm whenever running a portable generator. Carbon monoxide detectors save lives. To learn more about safe operation of portable generators, visit

Myth: I have to go outside during a storm to start my standby generator
Fact: One benefit of standby generator models is the seamless transition of power. A standby generator goes on automatically within seconds after utility power goes out. When power is restored to the home, the standby generator powers off and returns the home to utility power automatically.

Myth: A large, expensive standby generator is needed to power a home
Fact: Power management systems, like Briggs & Stratton’s advanced power management system manages a home’s power needs during a power outage by electronically controlling electrical loads. This allows homeowners to power more with a smaller generator.

Myth: Standby generators are clunky eyesores that must be placed in the middle of the yard
Fact: Recent advancements in the design of some standby generators may give homeowners more placement flexibility. For example, select Briggs & Stratton standby generators meet strict standards put forth by the National Fire Protection Agency, so its units may be placed closer to the home than in the past — potentially as close as 18 inches in some instances.

Myth: Standby generators require constant care and upkeep
Fact: Standby generators require very little interaction by the homeowner to keep it ready in case of a power outage. Standby generators are programmed to exercise regularly — often once a week — to ensure they are in working condition in the event of a power outage.

Briggs & Stratton Corporation, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. Its wholly owned subsidiary Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group LLC is North America’s number one manufacturer of portable generators and pressure washers, and is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of home standby generators, along with lawn and garden and turf care through its Simplicity®, Snapper®, Ferris® and Murray® brands. Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in over 100 countries on six continents.