Do not temporarily connect generators directly to household wiring. Power from generators can back-feed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including lineworkers making repairs. A licensed electrician should install stationary generators to ensure that they meet local electrical codes. There are only two safe ways to use a standby generator.
1. Stationary Generator: Only use with an approved generator transfer switch, which keeps your house circuits separate from the electric co-op, installed by a professional electrician.
2. Portable Generator: Plug appliances directly into the outlet provided on the generator.
Other tips include:
- Make sure your generator is properly grounded.
- Keep the generator dry.
- Plug appliances directly into the generator.
- Make sure extension cords used with generators are rated for the load, and are free of cuts, worn insulation and have three-pronged plugs.
- Do not overload the generator.
- Do not operate the generator in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces. Generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide very quickly, which can be deadly.
- Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries. Portable GFCIs require no tools to install and are available at prices ranging from $12 to $30.
- Start the generator first before connecting appliances.