A generator can be very useful during a power outage, but remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safe and proper operation. To protect yourself and your family or your business, remember to follow these rules:
- Always read thoroughly the manufacturer’s instructions. This can help avoid dangerous shortcuts and assist you in ensuring safe operation of your generator.
- Keep generators in an outdoor, well-vented area and away from all open windows, including neighbors’, so deadly exhaust does not enter a home or business.
- Ensure extension cords are properly sized to carry the electric load. Overloaded cords can overheat and cause fires or damage to equipment.
- Remember that gasoline-powered generators produce deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
- Always run portable generators outside the house.
- Never run generators inside or in a garage.
- Keep generators well away from open windows, including neighbors’, so deadly exhaust does not enter the home.
- Never connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring.
- Power from a generator connected to a home's wiring will "back feed" into utility lines that could cause severe injury or fatal electrocution to a neighbor or utility crew working to restore service.
- Hire a licensed electrician to connect the generator to your house wiring using a “listed” transfer switch, which means it meets nationally recognized safety standards as indicated by the UL Listing Mark on the product. Having an electrician install the listed transfer switch will safely prevent your generator from back feeding utility lines and, thus, avoiding a safety hazard to you, your family, neighbors and utility workers and preventing possible damage to your generator when utility power is restored.