Home Generator Safety

While home generators are handy for backup electricity in case of an outage, there are hazards to be aware of. Serious accidents can result when a home generator is connected to an existing electrical circuit.

  1. If the electricity produced by the home generator follows the electrical lines back to the transformer, and the current is transformed to a higher voltage, the lives of any utility employees working on the lines nearby are endangered. Anyone touching equipment powered by the generator is also in danger.
  2. Also, when the main electric power comes back on, a generator connected to the existing electrical circuit will result in an explosion and fire. Direct installation of a generator to an existing electrical system should only be done by a qualified technician and approved by your electric supply authority.
  3. To operate a generator safely, follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Always ensure that the generator operates outdoors in well-ventilated conditions, well away from doors or windows to prevent exhaust gases from entering the house.
  5. Connect lights and appliances directly to the generator. If extension cords must be used, ensure they are properly rated, CSA approved cords.

Updated: 5/2009