The Ice Storm of 2009 led to an increase in the use of home generators in our area. While we appreciate your desire to have electricity when our power system is compromised, please keep in mind that the safety of our line crew, emergency workers and neighbors is at stake when a generator is in operation at your home. Use the following tips to ensure that your home generator is safe for everyone involved.
- Purchase a generator that is listed with Underwriter's Laboratory or Factory Mutual.
- Read the owner's manual provided thoroughly before using your generator.
- Always alert WKRECC of your generator if they plan to work on your line or if you report an outage.
- Never plug the generator directly into a household outlet. This can energize "dead" power lines and pose harm to neighbors or line crew.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home as they will warn you of any gas entering your home.
- The National Electric Safety Code (NESC) requires an emergency generator to be connected to the wiring system through a double-throw switch, to disconnect the generator from the cooperative's lines when it's being used.
- Always ground the generator in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
- Turn off the power at the main circuit breaker before you connect any appliances to the generator. Keep it turned off while the generator is in operation.
- Never connect the generator to your home's wiring system.
- Be aware of the generator's capacity and never overload the system with too many appliances.
- Never use a generator inside your home or in an attached garage. Doing so can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep your generator in a well-ventilated, dry area away from air intakes to the home and protected from direct exposure to rain and snow.
- Only use safety-tested electrical cords design and rated for heaver, outdoor use to connect appliances to your generator.
- Follow proper re-fueling practices. Turn off generator and allow it to cool before starting to re-fuel.
WKRECC offers GenerLink meter collar devices that make connecting a portable generator safe and easy. Click here for more information about GenerLink.