Portable, gasoline-powered generators
- Thoroughly read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Never run a generator inside a house or garage and keep it away from all open windows – including neighbors' windows – so deadly exhaust does not enter the home or business.
- Consider using a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm to be alerted if carbon monoxide levels become dangerous.
- Never connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring. This can "backfeed" electricity into the utility lines, potentially injuring or killing a neighbor or a utility crew worker who is restoring service. Instead, plug appliances directly into to the generator.
- Use a heavy duty extension cord rated for outdoor use to keep the generator safely outdoors. If the appliance has a three-prong plug, always use a three-prong extension cord.
- Never refuel a hot generator or one that is running; hot engine parts or exhaust can ignite gasoline.
- Turn off all connected appliances before starting your generator.
- Turn connected appliances on one at a time, never exceeding the generator’s rated wattage.
- Don’t leave a running generator unattended; turn it off at night and when away from home.
Fixed, installed generators
- Hire a licensed electrician to connect the generator to your house wiring using a transfer switch to prevent your generator from backfeeding utility lines and causing possible damage to your generator when utility power is restored.
Tip: Refrigerators may only need to run a few hours a day to preserve food. Try to maintain 40 degrees in the refrigerator compartment and 0 degrees in the freezer.