Power Outage Preparedness & Portable Generator Tips

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 indoor appliances and hard wired items such as your furnace, lighting and water pump that are part of your homes electrical system. Indoor items must be powered using a transfer switch hard wired directly into your homes electrical system. Extension cords directly connected to your portable generator are only to be used to power outdoor items outdoors.

• Generator Extension Cord - Extension cords connected to a portable generator are intended to power outdoor items only. Indoor items are best powered by using a transfer switch.  If an extension cord is used to temporarily power indoor items you increase the risk of poisonous carbon monoxide gas in the engine's exhaust entering the home through any cord opening.  Also running extension cords into your home from outdoors through windows, doors and vents can damage cords posing a shock or fire hazard.  Once temporary situation is over install a home transfer switch before next future use.  To avoid overloading your extension cord, always make sure your cord is rated to carry the total load of all connected devices.
• 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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