Generators may offer some conveniences during periods of long-term power outages, but they can also be dangerous and even deadly if they are not used or installed correctly. 

Portable generator safety

  • Never plug a portable generator into a wall outlet or connect directly to a home's wiring. This can back-feed and energize power lines which creates a life threatening situation for linemen working on power lines. 
  • Read and follow all manufacturer operating instructions to properly ground the generator.
  • Test the ground fault circuit interrupter, commonly known as a GFCI, on the generator every time you fire up the engine.
  • Maintain adequate ventilation. Generators emit carbon monoxide. Do not operate a generator in your home, garage, or other enclosed building. 
  • Keep children and pets away from generators at all times. 
  • Use proper extension cords. Use only safety-tested, shop-type electrical cords designed and rated for heavier, outdoor use to connect appliances. 
  • Turn off the generator and allow it to cool before refueling. 
  • Before shutting down a generator, turn off and unplug all appliances and equipment being powered by the generator.

Contact an electrician to determine the best equipment for your situation or needs. A professional electrician will know the existing safety codes and the Cooperative's safety requirements. 

Image of generate safely tips