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Portable Generators

Storm Central » Content » Portable Generators

Operating your back-up power safely

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Portable generators can provide a convenient source of back-up electricity when a storm knocks out your power, but improper use can be dangerous. These tips will help protect your family while you keep your lights on.

  • Read the operating instructions carefully before operating the generator. Each generator has a rated wattage, which indicates the load it can safely carry. Add together your appliances' wattages to determine how many you can plug in without exceeding the generator's capacity.
  • Place your generator outside your house or garage, away from eaves, and in a well-ventilated area to avoid carbon-monoxide poisoning.
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator, using properly rated and sized extension cords if necessary. Hooking the generator to your household electric system is extremely dangerous to you, your neighbors and utility workers.
  • If you must hook a generator to the main electrical panel, contact a qualified electrician. Your home must be disconnected from GRU's electrical system, and a transfer switch must be installed to avoid "back feed" from the generator.