National Preparedness Month: Is Your Generator Safe?

Sep 1, 2020

No one can predict how long your power might be out in the event of a power outage. September is National Preparedness Month and is the perfect time to make sure you’re prepared for an emergency. If you’re ready, you’ll be less stressed in the event that something happens.

Owning a portable generator is one way to be prepared for a power outage. They are handy devices to have for an emergency, but they can be hazardous to you and to electrical workers, if used improperly.

The primary hazards of generators include carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution, and fire. Follow these tips to avoid injury or death, and to protect the safety of utility workers:

  • Operate generators in a well-ventilated area, away from doors, windows and vents.
  • Never run a generator in a garage, even with the door open.
  • To safely install and operate a generator, refer to the generator’s manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never try to power the house by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This creates an electrocution risk and is extremely dangerous for utility workers and neighbors served by the same electric transformers.
  • To help keep everyone safe, be sure to notify us that you have a generator when reporting an outage.

Having a generator isn’t the only thing you can do right now to get prepared.

Take time to make sure you and your family have a plan. Make sure your children know their address and phone number. Know who your out-of-town contact is and think about where you might go if you had to evacuate. Keep copies of important documents like passports, insurance polices and titles in your emergency kit.

Speaking of emergency kits, do you have one? Grab a plastic tub or a backpack and add items like flashlights, batteries, a portable radio, non-perishable food items (don’t forget a manual can opener), bottled water, medications, first aid supplies, copies of important documents, some cash, blankets, extra clothing, and items for your furry family members.

Want to print out a copy of these tips to include in your emergency kit? Click here to download the PDF brochure.