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, remember to follow these rules:

  • Always contact your city or county electrical inspector before installing a generator.
  • Always thoroughly read 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-ventilated area and away from all open windows, including neighbors, so deadly exhaust does not enter a home.
  • Ensure extension cords are properly sized to carry the electrical load.  Overloaded cords can overheat and cause fires or damage equipment.
  • Remember that gasoline-powered generators produce deadly carbon monoxide fumes.  Never run generators inside the home or a garage.
  • Never connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring.  Power from a generator connected to your home’s wiring will “back feed” into utility lines and could cause severe injury to a neighbor or utility crew working to restore service.  Hire a licensed electrician to connect a generator to your home's wiring using a “listed” transfer switch, which means it meets nationally recognized safety standards.