Statistics show that from 2010 to 2013, there was an average of 200 power outages each year. If you live in an area where the power frequently goes out, having access to a standby generator can allow you to power the appliances that you rely on until municipal electricity is restored.

Unfortunately, using a standby generator could present a hazard for your pet. Here are three tips to help you keep your pet safe when using a generator during the next power outage.

1. Protect your pet against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Many standby generators are fueled by gasoline. This means that the generators emit carbon monoxide during use. While the low levels of carbon monoxide produced by a generator might not have an adverse effect on your health, your pet is smaller and more vulnerable to exposure.

To prevent possible carbon monoxide poisoning in your pet during the next electrical blackout, be sure that you locate your generator far enough from your home so that fumes cannot penetrate heating vents. It can also be beneficial to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home to alert you of the presence of harmful gasses that could kill your pet while a standby generator is in use.

2. Protect cords from your pet.

In order to power the appliances in your home, you will need to plug your standby generator into a power transfer switch using an extension cord. Leaving the extension cord lying in an exposed area could present a problem if you have a pet in your home.

To safeguard your pet against electrocution if he or she chews on your generator's extension cord, it can be helpful to place the cord inside a protective covering. Running the extension cord through a garden hose or a length of PVC pipe will ensure that your pet cannot electrocute him or herself by chewing on the extension cord while your standby generator is in use.

3. Never leave the generator running unattended.

If you want to ensure that your pet remains unharmed during a power outage, it's essential that you don't leave your standby generator running while you are away from home. The combination of electrical energy produced by the generator and the gasoline fuel used to power the generator create the potential for a fire to erupt.

Always keep a fire extinguisher near your generator, and be sure that you turn off the generator when you leave your home to prevent the possibility that a fire will injure your pet while you are away.

Keeping your pet safe while using a standby generator doesn't have to be difficult. Guard against carbon monoxide poisoning, prevent your pet from chewing the extension cord, and avoid a fire by turning your generator off if you leave your home to ensure your pet's safety isn't compromised during a power outage. Contact a company like Anderson Water Systems for more information.