Generator Safety

To members of the media: A chief safety concern for EMCs is the unsafe use of portable generators during storm situations. If portable generators are not used properly, a consumer(s) or EMC line worker(s) could face possible injury or death. The information below is provided to help educate your readers, viewers and listeners to the dangers of operating this equipment during electric service interruptions.

  • Read all instructions carefully and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Never run your generator in doors or in your garage. Generators should only be run in a well-ventilated area. Gasoline-powered generators produce carbon monoxide and the fumes can be deadly if there is not adequate ventilation.
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator using heavy duty, properly grounded extension cords.
  • Make sure extension cords are not frayed or worn.
  • Limit the electrical load placed on the generator to no more than the recommended wattage.
  • Do not connect your power generator directly to your home’s main fuse box or circuit panel.
  • Use the generator only when necessary.
  • Turn the generator off at night while you sleep and when you are away from home.
  • Never plug a generator into any part of the house. Doing so may feed electricity out of the house to power lines outside your home, causing serious injury or death to an EMC employee who is working on downed lines or a member of the public who comes into contact with a downed power line.

If you have any questions about how to properly use a portable electric generator, contact the manufacturer, a licensed electrician or your local EMC.