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Today's News and Features

Is You Generator Safe?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

By John Voket

In this second of our two-part report we'll complete a review of Eversource Energy's winter storm prep list recently released by the multi-state utility. Today, as more homeowners are investing in generators, it’s more critical than ever to operate them safely.

If you’re using a back-up or emergency generator, Eversource recommends you follow these safety guidelines:

  • Never install a generator inside a home or in any other enclosed space—even if windows are wide open.
  • Generator exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a poison you cannot see or smell. Using a generator indoors can kill you within minutes.
  • Locate a generator well away from your home, making sure exhaust cannot easily enter in through windows or doorways.
  • Never try to power your house by plugging a portable generator into a household outlet. This can feed electricity back into the power lines — enough to electrocute a line worker, or a neighbor on the same circuit.
  • The safe way to connect a generator to your existing wiring is to have a licensed electrical contractor install a transfer switch. When improperly installed, home generators of any size - even small ones - can back feed enough power onto the electrical grid where it is “stepped up” to very high voltages.
  • If you or your family need heat, air conditioning, power and a more comfortable place to wait out a storm-related power outage, particularly in very cold or very hot weather, you can call your local fire or police department or local Red Cross chapter to locate an emergency shelter.
  • If you have to drive, watch out for trees and wires in the roadway. Do not drive across a downed power line. Treat all nonworking traffic lights as stop signs and proceed cautiously at intersections.
  • Do not enter damaged buildings with flame lanterns, candles or lighted cigarettes because there may be gas leaks. Finally, once power is restored after a storm, remember to plug in and then turn on appliances one at a time to avoid a power surge.


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