Portable electric generators are meant to be used as powered outlets with extension cords used to feed the appliances you chose to have run during an outage. If improperly installed to feed electricity into your house system, this power can feed back onto the power lines and electrocute our line workers who are working hard to restore your power. Cord and plug methods to tie a generator directly into your house wiring system without using a transfer switch are illegal, and potentially very dangerous, or deadly.
- If you are installing a stationary or stand-by emergency generator, have the work done by a qualified electrician, and inspected by the City Wiring Inspector.
- If your generator is wired into your house system, a manual or automatic transfer switch must be installed as required by the National Electric Code. The switch prevents the generator from back-feeding electricity onto the power lines which could be deadly to unsuspecting workers, your neighbors, as well as you and your home.
- Read and adhere to the manufacturer's instructions for safe operation. Don't cut corners when it comes to safety. Carefully read and observe all instructions in your portable electric generator's owner manual, and always follow state, local, and national fire and electric codes.
- Be sure to operate your generator outdoors, NEVER operate generators indoors, in your basement or connected garage, to avoid the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Be sure to place the generator where exhaust fumes will not enter the house. Only operate it outdoors in a well-ventilated and dry area.
- Before shutting down your generator shut off or unplug the appliances being used.
- Keep children and pets away from portable electric generators at all times. They do get very hot, and emit poisonous fumes.
- Connect the generator to your home's main electrical panel. Again, you could be putting your life and that of your family, neighbors, and our workers in jeopardy.
- Plug a portable electric generator into a regular household outlet. Plugging a generator into a regular household outlet can energize "dead" power lines and injure neighbors or utility workers.
- Overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator. Overloading your generator can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics, so you must prioritize your needs. A portable electric generator should also be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment.