The peace of mind a standby electric generator brings to your home, farm or business is big. It’s nice to have a backup plan to keep things running through unpredictable weather and occasional outages. But with big peace of mind comes big responsibility.
First things first, let us know if you’re installing a generator. Call your local Touchstone Energy Cooperative to notify us. It’s important that we update your account and are aware of all generators in the area. This keeps our linemen safe during outages. So, please, let us know!
DANGERS OF BACKFEEDING
The generator must be properly installed on an isolated circuit. A connection without the right switch can cause backfeed. This creates a dangerous current of electricity, which can be deadly to you and/or linemen. When backfeed enters a power line from a generator it can create a hot line. If a lineman expects the line to be de-energized due to an outage situation, but it’s hot because of your generator, it could create a life-threatening situation.
BE AWARE OF CARBON MONOXIDE
Generators must never be operated in enclosed buildings. Be sure your generator is vented and has enough air to be safe. Carbon monoxide emissions can build up quickly and can be deadly.
Whether propane, gasoline or diesel, be sure generator fuel is stored correctly in approved containers. Never refuel while the generator is running or still hot.
DISCONNECT FROM MAIN SOURCE
Always power down and disconnect from your utility service before starting your backup generator.
GIVE IT A BREAK
Manage the use of your generator during outages to save on fuel. It helps you be more energy efficient and keeps your generator in good running order. If the power is out for an extended period of time, use the generator to run the refrigerator every few hours so it stays cool enough for food without taking up constant energy. Giving the generator breaks is important. Most portable generators are not equipped to run around the clock. Be sure to shut it down and let it cool off.
These are just a few safety guidelines. To learn more about generator safety, give your local Touchstone Energy Cooperative a call. We are happy to help keep you, and us, safe!