Each year people die from using portable generators following a weather-related crisis.  A warning affixed to portable generators by the Consumer Product Safety Commission states “using a generator indoors will kill you in minutes!”.  According to the commission, the engine of a portable generator can emit more carbon monoxide than the engine of a modern car.  You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide, so it is especially dangerous. 

Consumers are also warned that if you use an emergency standby generator during power outages, improper generator hookup can cause fatal injury to our line workers and serious problems in electric service.  Connecting a portable generator to home wiring can cause current flow from the generator onto your electric lines that can injure or kill your HEC employees who are working to restore power on the line. 

To avoid injury or death of line workers by improper connection, your generator should only be installed by licensed electricians and in compliance with the National Electrical Code and must have a double-throw switch to operate safely.  A double-throw switch transfers electrical power from the line to the generator.  As explained above, if a double-throw switch is not used, feedback from the generator voltage on power lines could endanger the lives of line crews working to restore your power. 

Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding generator safety. 
It could save a life!