Skip to main content

Generator safety

Generator Safety

Using a generator at home

If you need to use a generator for power after a storm, be very vigilant about safety. Generators should never be connected to home wiring without an approved device that ensures electricity is not fed back through electric supply lines to your home. Improper installation poses extreme danger to the lineworkers restoring power and could ruin the generator. It’s also a good idea to use a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector. 

  • Never run a generator in an enclosed space or indoors.
  • Be sure to operate the generator in a well-ventilated area.
  • If you use a portable generator, follow the manufacturer's safety and operating guidelines.
  • Always place the generator at least 20 feet from the house with the engine exhaust directed away from windows and doors. 
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator, or use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads.
  • Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.
  • If necessary, stagger the operating times for various equipment to prevent overloads.