Caution Urged When Using Backup Generators

  • Make sure you know how to operate the generator safely. Unsafe operation can threaten you, your family, neighbors and even the linemen working to restore power. Unsafe installation or operation may also result in a lawsuit and your insurance may not cover your liability.
  • Temporary-use generators should not be connected to the circuit breaker or fuse box and should not be plugged into a household outlet. Portable generators should only be used with extension cords to power lights and small appliances.
  • Permanently installed generators should be wired into your home by a qualified electrician, using a transfer switch that prevents potentially deadly back-feed.
  • Generators should only be operated outside a home to prevent toxic and potentially deadly exhaust from entering a home. Keep them away from children and pets.
  • When starting a generator, disconnect all appliances that might be connected to it. That will not only protect them but prevent a fuse from being blown on the generator.
  • Connect appliances to your portable generator after it has been started. Use only three-prong plugs that allow connections to be grounded.
  • When refueling generators, allow the engine to cool in order to prevent a fire should the gas tank overflow.
  • Be sure to use a heavy-duty extension cord rated for the wattage of the load being connected.
  • When the generator is no longer needed, allow it to cool down before storing it.