Storm season is officially here and with its arrival we could see extended power outages should a major storm hit our area. Because our members are use to hurricanes and other weather patterns that impact us, many of them have purchased generators for stand-by power. These generators are very useful and provide the convenience of having power when our neighbors do not, but they can also be very dangerous - dangerous for our linemen in the field, but also for your own family.
When the weather gets rough, a portable generator can be a lifesaver. However, if used improperly, it can prove to be a hazard to you, your home and those working to get your power back on. Electrocution, fire and carbon monoxide poisoning are all potential consequences of improper generator usage. These tips will help keep you and your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shock, fire injury and property damage.
Never connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring without an appropriate transfer switch installed. This can cause back-feeding along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including line workers making repairs.
- Never plug a generator into a regular household outlet.
- Never operate the generator in enclosed spaces. Use carbon monoxide detectors in nearby enclosed spaces to monitor levels, as generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide very quickly. This can be deadly. 79142001
- Use heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cords. Make sure extension cords are free of cuts or tears and the plug has all three prongs.
- Ensure your generator is properly grounded.
- Never overload a generator.
- Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting the generator down.
- Keep the generator dry.
- Always have a fully charged fire extinguisher nearby.
- Never fuel a generator while it is operating.
- Read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation.
Play it safe! Contact West Florida Electric Cooperative for more information about how to ensure your portable generator is an asset, not an endangerment. When we work together for safety and the good of our communities, we all benefit.