When a hurricane or tropical storm hits the Central Florida area you can be sure power outages will follow, some that can drag on for weeks. It is due to that scenario that many people have chosen to purchase a portable generator, maybe your one of them.
While portable generators are convenient and can bring relief during power outages, they are not always used correctly. Carbon monoxide poisoning is all too common with portable generators. Here are several ways you can be sure that you are being safe when you use your portable generator.
Always use your portable generator outside. Exhaust fumes from your portable generator will fill your house with carbon monoxide, and it will slowly poison you, your family and any pets you may have. This rule also applies to your garage, attic, and basement.
It is a good idea when using a generator near your house to have carbon monoxide detectors. Strong winds can blow the exhaust from your generator into the house through an open door or window. You should always keep your generator at least ten feet away from your house, but even at that distance winds could still blow the exhaust into your home.
Remember, your portable generator is producing electricity and electrocution is a real hazard. Do not place your generator in a puddle or damp ground that could conduct electricity. Never use your generator when it raining unless you have a shelter that will keep it and the ground around it dry, the shelter won’t trap carbon monoxide, and it is not flammable.
Backfeeding occurs when a generator is plugged into an outlet like the ones above your kitchen counter, or where your lamps are plugged in. If you send power into your home by that method, you are sending electricity in the wrong direction, and nothing good can come of it.
Things like burning up your TV or computer are a real possibility when you backfeed with your portable generator. Backfeeding also sends power out to the nearby power lines and has caused the death of more than one lineman trying to repair the lines.
In order to avoid backfeeding, you will need to have something called a transfer switch installed before a power outage happens. Make sure a licensed electrician installs the transfer switch, so it is installed correctly. The transfer switch will switch the load from the power lines to the generator to ensure power from both sources doesn’t cause serious damage to your home, appliances, and electronics.
There are two types of transfer switches, automatic and manual. Automatic is preferable because it switches when it senses that a power source has been gained or lost.
Don’t ever add gasoline to your portable generator while it is running, not only is it hot and combustible, gas is a conductor of electricity. Pouring gasoline into a running portable generator could very possibly end in your electrocution.
Likewise, don’t pour gas into a generator into it when it’s hot, even if it is not running. Portable generators can get very hot and are likely to ignite the gasoline that is being poured. A trip to a burn unit is not why you purchased a portable generator.
With that in mind keep your portable generator away from anything that off-gasses flammable fumes. Things like solvent-based paints and cleaning products should be kept well away from your portable generator. Don’t place any materials that could easily burn against your generator either; this includes rags that have been soaked in solvents, things like hay or straw, and paper.
If you follow these safety tips, there is no reason that you should not be comfortable in your home while the power is out around you.Continue Reading
Knowing that you have a car seat that will keep your child safe is a priority if you are a parent. You want to make sure that every time you pull out of the driveway, your child won’t be seriously injured in a car accident. But how can you be sure that the car seat you have chosen is safe? Here are some tips that will help you find the best car seat for your child.
If you are purchasing a seat for an infant, realize that they grow a tremendous amount in the first five years. If you buy a car seat that doesn’t adapt to your child’s growth, then you are wasting money. Your baby will eventually face forward in its car seat so think of the car seat as a long-term investment. If it sounds expensive, there are a variety of different priced car seats available.
If you are busy, you may miss a story on the news about that car seat you just bought is the subject of a recall. How do you find out if there is a recall on your car seat? Go to seatcheck.org to find out if the seat you purchased has been recalled. It would be wise to visit the site prior to purchasing a car seat. By doing this, you will ensure that your child is safe.
Never place your child in a used car seat. Older car seats may not meet current safety standards for car seats. Use car seats often have vital components missing that will cause the car seat to be less effective or ultimately fail. If you don’t want to put your child in danger, never put a used car seat in your vehicle.
Your infant will undoubtedly spit up in the car seat, and it will need to be cleaned often. When choosing a car seat, find out how easy it is to clean. Make sure that the coverings can be removed and washed or easily replaced. If you can’t keep stains and caked on regurgitation off of the car seat, you will end up having to replace it.
If you are going to purchase a car seat, be aware of the LATCH system. The latch system uses a system of straps, hooks, and anchors to secure a car seat. In the LATCH system seatbelts are not used in conjunction with the car seat. While research does not show that LATCH is more effective than using a seat belt, it does not show it is worse than seat belts. There are two schools of thought on which is better and research is needed to understand each system. The decision really rests with you if you want to use the LATCH system or a car seat that utilizes a seat belt.
Be sure to measure the car seat to see if it will fit in your car. If you are in a smaller car, some seats might not fit. If your car is older it may not have anchors for the LATCH system either; so be sure you know what kind of car seat you are purchasing.
Buying a car seat takes some due diligence, but in the end, when you have chosen the right car seat, you are ensuring your child’s safety in your vehicle for the duration of their childhood.Continue Reading