How Generators Can Save the Holiday Season

A lack of power can quickly sap the festive cheer from your holiday celebrations. Read on to discover how a generator can keep your spirits high all the way from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.

Don’t Let Lights Overload Your Electrical Circuits

Image via Flickr by Loozrboy

Twinkling Christmas lights look lovely at this time of year, but they can easily overload your electrical circuit. Traditional circuits are made to power an ordinary family home or business, so they can crumble under the extra strain of strings of lights and animatronic festive figurines. Circuit breakers and fuses trip or blow when circuits are overloaded, which can affect your lights and appliances inside and outside the house. Rig up a generator and you can have a Christmas display worthy of the Griswold’s without the stress.

Protect Against Power Outage

Power is essential for a smoothly running festive season. You rely on your electric stove to cook the bird, roast potatoes, and other treats your family loves. You need the television to watch the big football games and the movies that keep the kids entertained. Also, your lights ensure that the family can continue the celebrations long after the sun sets. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if the power went out?

The sad truth is that power outages are all too common over the holidays. Snowstorms and thunderstorms can both knock down power lines. This can cause frustrating blackouts, which can leave you without power from anywhere between a couple of hours to several weeks if you’re unprepared. A generator can get your power running again, even if there’s a widespread fault in your local area.

It’s crucial you choose a generator that’s large enough for your needs though. All too often, families feel a sense of security simply because they’ve bought a generator. However, there are plenty of stories about homeowners who choose the cheapest model, only to discover that it won’t power the oven and lights simultaneously when they need them most. Discuss your needs with your installer to ensure you’re buying the right generator for your home and lifestyle. You might only entertain a handful of times a year, but it’s important to select a generator that suits those busy times, should the worst happen.

Stay Safe in Severe Climates

For most of us, losing power over the holidays would be inconvenient and frustrating. However, in some parts of the country, losing power for days, or even longer, could be dangerous. Caribou, Maine, and Jackson, Wyoming both receive an average of 41 subzero days a year, including many over the holiday period. In International Falls, Minnesota, it once dropped to -55 degrees, and in icy Barrow, Alaska, it fell to -56.

If you live in one of these local areas, you could easily face pneumonia, hypothermia, or another life-threatening illness if you went without power for an extended period over the holidays. The risks increase if you’re already suffering from an illness, are young, or are elderly. Being able to turn on the heat won’t just make you more comfortable; it could save your life.

Keep Businesses Operating

Many people get to enjoy downtime with their loved ones over the holiday period, but not every professional is on vacation. Many businesses, like hospitals, gas stations, and some restaurants, trade throughout the festive season. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, every minute of lost power could represent thousands of dollars lost for large companies. In the case of healthcare providers, losing power could even mean losing patients.

Note that buying and installing a backup generator is no guarantee it will work in a crisis. Unused power generators are prone to failure, so it’s important to test yours regularly to ensure it can be relied upon. Poor fuel storage can also cause serious problems, so it’s important to follow best practice procedures.

It’s customary to store gas in plastic red containers, kerosene in blue containers, and diesel in yellow. Following these color guidelines will ensure there’s no confusion about what fuel you’re storing. All fuel loses its potency over time, so you should add substances like STA-BIL or PRI-G to the mix if your gas is in storage. Store it in a clean, cool place, ideally away from the business to minimize the risk of accidents.

Add Pizzazz to Parade Floats

A portable generator can help take your seasonal parade float to the next level. A generator allows you to add lights and music to your display, so it’s sure to get noticed. You can lease one through a rental outfit or buy your own from a local hardware store or generator provider.

Just make sure you follow correct safety protocol when putting your float together. Generators produce carbon monoxide in enclosed spaces, so you should never put your generator in a confined space close to humans. It’s safest to put your generator in a properly ventilated space. Placing it at the back, perhaps behind trees or other props, can help hide the equipment and reduce running noise.

Accidents can occur though, so be prepared. Only use fire-retardant materials to decorate your float, and keep a fire extinguisher handy, just in case.

Take Modern Convenience on Your Christmas Vacation

The holiday season is the ideal time for a vacation. Whether you’re loading up the RV or planning to pitch a tent in one of the warmer parts of the nation, a portable generator deserves a place in your trunk. It might be romantic to think about going off the grid and reconnecting with nature, but it’s only a matter of time before you long for the creature comforts of home.

Most camping sites allow silent generators to enhance your trip. One of these portable power sources will let you use a portable television set or radio, keep a small freezer running, and charge your batteries and favorite technological gadgets. A campfire might seem romantic, but if you struggle to get one going, you’ll be thrilled to have a generator to light your site.

For these reasons and more, a generator deserves a place in your holiday plans.