Emergency/Portable Generator Safety

Always get advice from a licensed electrician before purchasing a generator. Make sure the generator is listed with Underwriter's Laboratories or a similar organization. A licensed electrician will be able to give you more information on specific requirements.

 

Always keep the generator outdoors -- never operate it inside, including the basement or garage.

Do not connect a generator to your electrical system.

When using a generator you should always plug any equipment you want to power directly into the outlets on the generator. Connecting a cord from the generator to a point on the permanent wiring system and backfeeding power to your home is an unsafe method to power a building during an outage. 

 

Backfeeding power to your home can create hazardous conditions for first responders and utility crews in an emergency situation!

Don't overload the generator.

All generators have a power rating. they should be used only when necessary and only to power a limited number of appliances or equipment.

 

The total wattage used by the appliances should be less than the output rating of the generator. If you put too many appliances on the generator, it could seriously damage the appliances and electronics. Overloading the generator could also cause fires in the power cord. If in doubt, don't add that extra load to the generator.