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TIPS: Generator safety after severe storms

Upshur Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation has put together a list of tips to make sure you and others stay safe when a generator is in use.
Credit: TEGNA

Generators can be a great luxury during a power outage, but guidelines must be followed to ensure everyone's safety.

Upshur Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation has put together a list of tips to make sure you and others stay safe when a generator is in use.

KNOW YOUR GENERATOR

  • Read all of the information on installation, safety and maintenance.
  • Follow instructions regarding maintenance and testing.

When a generator is not properly installed, it can "backfeed" through the transformer and produce an output of 7,200 volts on the distribution line. As a result, a line crew working on the system would be put in danger.

ISOLATE YOUR GENERATOR

  • Keep your generator away from the power lines. 
  • Connect appliances and other devices directly to the generator with the appropriate-sized cords.

If you connect it directly to your building's wiring, a transfer, double-throw switch is required to separate your generator from the your service provider's system.

TAKE CARE WHEN FUELING

Never try to refuel the unit while it is operating. Avoid spilling gasoline or other fuels on hot components.

PROVIDE ADEQUATE VENTILATION

  • Give your generator adequate ventilation and air cooling to prevent overheating and the accumulation of toxic exhaust fumes. 
  • Do not install your generator in a basement or any closed area.

Exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide, which is an odorless, invisible, poisonous gas.