When storms pass through our area leaving damage and destruction, the utility restoration process could take days, leaving customers without power for long periods of time. Most often, portable generators can be used to provide temporary power for urgent needs. It’s important to use portable generators with caution and follow all manufacturer’s instructions. Improper use can cause hazardous conditions for you as well as our crews out restoring power to lines.
Portable Generator Safety Tips to Follow:
- Connect a portable generator DIRECTLY to appliances or equipment, NOT your existing house wiring. Make sure the generator is properly grounded and use only approved, appropriate-sized power cords.
- DO NOT connect to a neighboring home or business with an extension cord. This can result in power feeding back into the utility lines, causing harm to our crews working to restore power.
- NEVER plug into an electrical outlet in your home or garage. It can “back feed” power into power lines and cause harm or death to our crews. Connect directly to your appliances or equipment.
- NEVER operate indoors or in an unventilated area as the exhaust contains deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Always run portable generators outside away from flammable objects, pets and children. Harmful fumes can build up and cause serious injury or death.
- To add fuel, turn the generator off and let it cool down. Never add fuel when the generator is running, gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could cause a fire.
- To avoid electrical shocks, make sure the generator is properly grounded according to manufacturer’s instructions and use only approved, appropriate sized power cords.
- Always follow the safety instructions in the manufacturer's instruction manual.
- Always follow local, state, and national fire and electric codes. A permit may be required for installation.
- Always use a heavy-duty (at least 12 gauge) UL-listed extension cord (less than 100 feet long) from the generator to your appliances - being careful not to overload the cord.
- Always make sure that the total electric load on your generator does not exceed the manufacturer's rating.
- Do not store gasoline for a generator indoors. Gasoline should be stored in an approved, non-glass safety container. Extinguish all flames or cigarettes when handling gasoline or the generator. Always have a fully charged, approved fire extinguisher located near the generator. Make sure you have enough fuel to run a generator for an extended period of time as during a power outage, gas stations may be closed.
- Parts of the generator are very hot during operation. Avoid contact - especially with the muffler area. Keep children away at all times.
- Protect the generator from rain and other moisture sources to prevent electrocution.
- When not in use, store the generator in a dry location such as a garage or shed.