Always operate generators safely and responsibly. It is important to use generators only in well-ventilated areas. Gasoline produce harmful carbon monoxide gases when burned in an engine. running the generator in an attached garage can be extremely dangerous and often fatal, with the fumes easily finding their way into the home, and quickly overcome anyone inside. Even running a generator in a detached garage can be a problem if proper ventilation is not maintained. Outside is the best place to run a generator, even if it may be in the middle of a thunderstorm.
Flammable fuels should be stored away from sources of ignition, as wells as children. Keep in mind gas-powered water heaters are a source of ignition, so do not store fuels in the basement or garage if a water heater is also present.
Extension cords are another cause of house fires, and are easily overloaded when attached to a generator and used to run everything 50-100 feet away. Any extension cord used with a portable generator should be made from wire that is at least 14 gauge. When looking to buy outdoor extensions cords look for the letters AWG, followed by some numbers.
The first number should be 14 or LOWER. (The lower the number, the bigger the wire). This becomes even more important if you use a power strip on the end of the cord to plug in multiple items. Use power strips with circuit breakers in them, and are sized for 14 gauge or bigger wiring. Severe winds, rain, snow and ice have caused a number of power outages throughout Ontario overall the last few years. Some lasting days or even weeks. Portable generators are small, practical and easy to transport.