Many homes, local businesses, hospitals and city buildings rely on electric generators as a backup to their main power source when there is a power outage. June is National Hurricane Preparedness Month and Mr. Electric wants to help you, your family, business and community stay safe during the hurricane season. Whether you are using a permanently placed standby electric generator or a portable electric generator used for the home, these guidelines will help you power tomorrow.
Standby electric generator:
- Use a licensed professional Never attempt to fix any electrical issue without proper training or certification. Backup electric generators should be inspected and maintained by properly trained electricians.
- Ensure a transfer switch is properly installed Licensed professionals will be able to install a transfer switch, which will prevent a back feed in electrical current. Back-feed poses an extreme danger to lineman working to restore power after an outage.
Electric home generator:
- Never attach the generator to a home’s wiring This can be extremely dangerous and deadly. Home fires, electrical damage to equipment and back feed can occur if a portable generator is connected to a home’s wiring. Only use appropriate manufacturer guidelines when operating a portable generator.
- Do not overload the generator Only plug in necessary items. Portable generators cannot handle the load capacity of an entire house. Only powering a few necessary items will keep your generator from overloading and damaging your generator or items that are being powered by the generator.
- Use proper startup and shutdown procedures Always turn off all lights and disconnect appliances before operating a portable generator. Turn on lights one at a time to prevent overloading the generator. When shutting down the generator, turn lights off and unplug any equipment being powered by the generator.
Proper operation of electric generators will prevent damage and injury. Stay safe during National Hurricane Preparedness Month with these tips from Mr. Electric.