skip navigation link
palm trees blowing in hurricane force winds
ReadyAtlantic.org

Power Outages & Portable Generator Safety

Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they last a long time. If a power outage is 2 hours or less, you need not be concerned about losing your perishable foods. For prolonged power outages, though, there are steps you can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of your household as comfortable as possible.

This Power Outage Checklist pdf can help you minimize loss and contains additional Information from the Red Cross.

PORTABLE GENERATOR SAFETY

Portable generators are useful when temporary or remote electric power is needed, but they can be hazardous. The primary hazards to avoid when using them are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock or electrocution, and fire.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) would like you to know that there are simple steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property resulting from improper use of portable generators.

To Avoid Carbon Monoxide Hazards:

  • Always use generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents.
  • NEVER use generators in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.
  • Follow manufacturer's instructions.
  • Install battery-operated or plug-in (with battery backup) carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home, following manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test CO alarms often and replace batteries when needed.

To Avoid Electrical Hazards:

  • Keep the generator dry. Operate on a dry surface under an open, canopy- like structure.
  • Dry your hands before touching the generator.
  • Plug appliances directly into generator or use a heavy-duty outdoor- rated extension cord. Make sure the entire extension cord is free of cuts or tears and the plug has all 3 prongs, especially a grounding pin.
  • NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet. This practice, known as backfeeding, can cause an electrocution risk to utility workers and others served by the same utility transformer.
  • If necessary to connect generator to house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install appropriate equipment. Or, your utility company may be able to install an appropriate transfer switch.

To Avoid Fire Hazards:

  • Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
  • Always store fuel outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass containers.
  • Store fuel away from any fuel-burning appliance.

Information for this factsheet was provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Video: How Close is Too Close for Portable Generators?

Privacy Practices l Accessibility Statement l Links l Contact Us

This web site is sponsored and managed by Atlantic County Government.
This page was last updated as of  Friday, October 26, 2012
Click Here to send an email to the webmaster

pdf

A pdf reader is required to view or print this content, click here to get a free copy of the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® software.