Backup generators can be a true lifeline during an extended power outage. They can also turn deadly if not operated with caution and care.
Most generator-related accidents and fatalities are the result of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Protect both you and your family by installing a CO detection and test it monthly.
- Never use a generator inside homes. including garages, basements, crawlspaces or sheds.
- Keep generators at least 20 feet from doors, windows, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors.
Generators also pose a risk of shock and electrocution. Protect the generator from moisture and avoid contact with the unit if you or the surrounding surface are wet. Make sure the generator is properly grounded as well.
Never connect the generator to your home’s wiring without a proper double-pole, double-throw transfer switch as required by the National Electrical Safety Code. Without one, you risk backfeeding on the power grid and electrocuting lineworkers and others.