Given our dependence on electricity, it’s understandable why portable generators are so popular. However, generators can cause more harm than good if not used properly. To protect yourself and the linemen who work to restore your power after an outage, keep the following safety guidelines in mind.
Never plug a portable generator directly into one of your home’s outlets unless you have had a licensed electrician install a transfer switch in your home. If you don’t have a transfer switch, the generator can backfeed along power lines, which can electrocute a lineman working on those lines.
Generators create carbon monoxide, so they must go outside in a dry area at least 15 feet away from your home’s vents, windows, and doors. Attached garages with an open door don’t count—the carbon monoxide can still seep indoors and poison inhabitants.
Plug appliances directly into the generator using heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cords, but don’t overload it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maximum load. Shut off the generator before refueling, or a fire could start—and it’s a good idea to have a fully charged fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.
Safety is a top priority at ECI REC, for our employees and members alike. Contact us at 877-850-4343 if you’d like to learn more about how to properly install and use a portable generator.