A Halfmoon, New York homeowner suffered minor burns when his generator exploded. The explosion caused a housefire that severely damaged part of the home.

The homeowner started his generator because there was a power outage in the area, and then attempted to fill it with gasoline while it was running – a major fire hazard. News10 ABC reports that flames engulfed the home even though the local fire department responded quickly to extinguish the fire.

According to the Clifton Park Fire Chief, the damage to the home is so severe that it is unlivable. The family is currently staying with relatives.

Fire Prevention Starts with Knowing Your Equipment

Gas generators can be extremely dangerous if used improperly. Before you use a new piece of equipment, make sure you read the warnings and instructions so you know how to prevent accidents. You should not attempt to operate equipment that looks dangerous or damaged.

Tips for Preventing Generator Accidents

Inspect the Generator before Each Use: As the winter or storm seasons approach, have your generator tuned up and the oil checked. Test your generator before you need it to avoid malfunctions.

Do Not Attempt to Refuel or Service the Generator While it is Running: The homeowner’s neglect to follow the instructions for safe operation of his generator likely caused this accident in New York. Never attempt to add fuel or change the oil of your generator while it is running. First shut it off and allow it to cool down. If you spill gasoline on a hot generator, it could ignite or explode, causing serious burns.

Do Not Overload Your Generator: Only use portable generators to run necessary appliances. For whole-house power, you should get a licensed electrician to connect a permanent generator to your home wiring.

Read up on some other commonly overlooked household burn dangers and make sure you keep your family safe at all times.