If the power goes out in Central Texas for a long period of time, we want to make sure you are using your portable generator safely.

KVUE spoke to generator technician and Austin Generator Service owner Kurt Summers about the basic rules for operating your portable generator.

First, it’s crucial to remember that you must keep your generator outside at all times when it is running. Make sure to keep it away from any open windows or doors.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly. Generators emit exhaust containing carbon monoxide when they’re running.

Even with the garage door open, there still isn’t enough ventilation to keep the fumes outside. Run the generator as far away from the house as possible and point the exhaust away from open doors and windows.

The second most important rule for portable generator safety is to allow time for it to cool off every 8-10 hours when it needs to be refueled.

"It's going to get very hot. When you shut it down, turn your loads off first, let the generator cool off, then shut the generator down and let it cool off,” advised Summers.

Allow 30 minutes to cool before filling it with gas, otherwise, the fumes could ignite.

As for proper care, here’s how to make sure your generator works when you need it during an emergency.

"Much like a lawnmower or some other light industrial you're going to change the oil every 40-50 hours of operation,” said Summers. “Tune ups every 500 to 1,000 hours."

Summers has ordered hundreds of extra portable generators that will be delivered over the weekend. They will be available first thing Monday morning. For more information on Austin Generator Service click here.


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