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Generator Safety is Key to Preventing Damage, Injury or Death

When the power goes out during a hurricane, portable generators can save a freezer full of food and supply electricity to a limited number of other appliances. But if generators are used improperly, they can kill you and the people restoring power to your home or business.

Home emergency generators are usually powered by gasoline, which itself is dangerous and must be properly handled.

Most generators are designed to be cord and plug connected. They are meant to be used with an approved extension cord and with only essential loads, such as the refrigerator or heat pump, plugged in.

If you want to connect a generator to the main electrical supply for your house, you need the services of a licensed electrician to install a double-pole, double-throw transfer switch between the generator and utility power. Without this switch properly installed, the generator could feed electricity back into your power company’s system and electrocute workers repairing electrical lines.

Operate your generator in a clean, dry, well-ventilated area to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning from the exhaust. Confined areas such as garages, basements, storage sheds, and even covered porches, lack a steady exchange of air.

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