Generator Safety

Make sure to take care with portable electric generators. Although generators can be a good source of power, if they are improperly installed or operated they can become deadly. In addition, make sure not to connect generators directly to household wiring. The power from generators can backfeed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including line technicians making repairs. A qualified, licensed electrician should install your generator to ensure that it meets local electrical codes. Other tips for generators include:

  • Make sure the generator is properly grounded.
  • Make sure to keep the generator dry.
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator.
  • Make sure extension cords used with the generator are free of cuts, worn insulation, and have three-pronged plugs.
  • Make sure not to overload the generator.
  • Do not operate the generator in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Generators can produce high levels of deadly carbon monoxide very quickly.
  • Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries. Portable GFCIs require no tools to install and are available at prices ranging from $12 to $30.
  • Generator Safety Flyer (59kb)