Portable Generator - Fire Prevention

Electrical generators can save lives by maintaining heat, light, refrigeration and medical equipment during a power outage.  These devices can be hazardous if not utilized properly. The following information outlines the specific hazards of fire inherent with the use of generators. Source: www.osha.gov.

NOTE: Fuels used for generators can easily ignite.

Fire Hazards

  • Generators become hot while running and remain hot for long periods after they are stopped.  Generator fuels (gasoline, kerosene, etc.) can ignite when spilled on hot engine parts.
  • Before re-fueling, shut down the generator and allow it to cool.
  • Gasoline and other generator fuels should be stored and transported in approved containers that are properly designed and marked for their contents, and vented.
  • Keep fuel containers away from flame producing and heat generating devices such as the generator itself, water heaters, cigarettes, lighters, and matches.
  • Do not smoke around fuel containers. Escaping vapors or vapors from spilled materials can travel long distances to ignition sources.

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion

  • Why is it important to allow generator to cool before re-fueling?
  • Why should fuel containers be kept away from the generator?