Portable Electric Generator Safety Tips
Portable electric generators can be beneficial when outages affect your home. Here are guidelines for safely connecting and operating portable generators.
- Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring. Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can ‘back feed’ onto our power lines connected to your home.
Our transformers can then ‘step-up’ or increase this back feed to thousands of volts – enough to kill a utility lineman making outage repairs a long way from your home. You could also cause expensive damage to utility equipment and your generator. The only safe way to connect a portable electric generator to your existing wiring is to have a licensed electrical contractor install a transfer switch. The transfer switch transfers power from our power lines to the power coming from your generator.
- Never plug a portable electric generator into a regular household outlet. Plugging in a generator into a regular household outlet can energize ‘dead’ power lines and injure neighbors or utility workers.
- Don’t overload the generator. Overloading your generator can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics.
- Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. A portable generator uses an internal combustion engine that emits deadly carbon monoxide. Be sure to place the generator where exhaust fumes will not enter the house.
- Use proper power cords, and read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation.
- To prevent electrical shock, make sure your generator is properly grounded.
- Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running.
- Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting down your generator.