Generator Safety

Do not temporarily connect generators directly to household wiring. Power from generators can back-feed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including lineworkers making repairs. A licensed electrician should install stationary generators to ensure that they meet local electrical codes. There are only two safe ways to use a standby generator.

1. Stationary Generator: Only use with an approved generator transfer switch, which keeps your house circuits separate from the electric co-op, installed by a professional electrician.

2. Portable Generator: Plug appliances directly into the outlet provided on the generator.

Other tips include:

  • Make sure your generator is properly grounded.

  • Keep the generator dry.

  • Plug appliances directly into the generator.

  • Make sure extension cords used with generators are rated for the load, and are free of cuts, worn insulation and have three-pronged plugs.

  • Do not overload the generator.

  • Do not operate the generator in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces. Generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide very quickly, which can be deadly.

  • 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.

  • Start the generator first before connecting appliances.