Generators can be a wonderful way to keep things going in the event of a temporary power outage. But as with any other appliance, they need to be treated with respect. In fact, generators can pose some special dangers that you should be aware of.
To protect yourself, your neighbors and BREC line personnel, please follow these tips when using a back-up generator.
- As soon as you buy a portable generator and take it out of the box, read the directions carefully and learn to operate it correctly. If you wait until the power goes off, you will probably be in a hurry and in the dark. This could lead to accidents.
- Never operate a generator inside the house or in other confined spaces. Internal-combustion engines give off carbon monoxide gas, which is deadly in a closed environment. For safe operation, place the generator in a well-ventilated area such as a porch or open carport where the carbon monoxide produced will be vented.
- Never wire your generator directly into your home’s electrical system or plug it directly into the wall outlets unless you have a double-throw switch installed at the circuit box by a licensed electrician. A generator wired into the electrical system without a double-throw switch can send electricity back onto BREC’s system. This could be potentially fatal to crews working to restore your power or anyone else who comes in contact with power lines. If a double-throw switch has not been installed, appliances should be plugged directly into the unit. Contact the BREC engineering department for advice on properly wiring your generator.