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The capacity of a generator is calculated in watts. For instance, you may own a 2,000-watt generator. Therefore, if you have an appliance that requires 120 volts and uses 10 amps, the appliance will require 1,200 watts of power. By doing this calculation, you can determine what appliances can safely run on your generator based on its wattage rating.


  • Do not run gasoline engines in an enclosed area since they produce
    carbon monoxide (CO), a dangerous gas that can cause death.
  • Check the oil level in the engine on a regular basis, especially
    before using.
  • Before refueling, let the engine cool completely.
  • Place your generator a safe distance away from other structures
    since the engine can get quite hot.
  • Make sure that your generator stays dry to prevent water damage
    and a potential electrical hazard.
  • Do not use a generator with appliances that have gotten wet.
  • Watch out for a voltage drop when using an extension cord that is
    too long or when using a cord with a wire size that is too small.
  • Connect generators directly into appliances but never directly into
    a home electrical supply box.
  • Ground the generator based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Select the appropriate outlet with the correct voltage.
  • Start running the generator before turning on the AC circuit or before
    plugging in the appliance.

In the event of a power outage at your home, an emergency generator could be your saving grace. Not only can you operate your lights to see during the nighttime, you can also salvage the food in the refrigerator and freezer until the power comes back on. However, emergency generators can also be extremely dangerous to use if you do so improperly. To ensure that your home and family remain protected while using an emergency generator, consider using these safety recommendations.