Improper use or installation of an electric generator can cause property damage, serious injury and even death. Proper installation must be done by a licensed electrician.

Safety

Maybe you want to make sure the food in your freezer stays frozen if there’s a power outage, or you need to power other important equipment for your home during an extended outage.  Whatever the reason, when there is an extended power outage, there is also the urge by many customers to plug in the portable generator. But, if not used properly, that portable generator can pose a severe hazard to line workers. In addition, the generator itself also can be damaged if it’s not connected properly.

OSHA regulations state that electricity created by generators have the same hazards as normal utility-supplied electricity. It also has some additional hazards because generator users often bypass the safety devices (such as circuit breakers) that are built into electrical systems.

The following precautions are provided to reduce shock and electrocution hazards. Never attach a generator directly to the electrical system of a structure or dwelling, unless a qualified electrician has properly installed the generator with a transfer switch. Attaching a generator directly to a building electrical system without a properly installed transfer switch can energize wiring systems for great distances, creating a risk of electrocution for utility workers and others in the area. Also, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, using a portable generator Indoors (even if windows and doors are open) can kill you in minutes because the exhaust from the portable generator contains high concentrations of carbon monoxide (a poison that cannot be seen and has no odor). Do not place a portable generator inside your home.