Portable Generator Safety
It is hard to imagine living in today's world without electricity. That is why at Hancock-Wood, we not only provide our members with reliable electric service, but also work very hard to keep the lights on and restore service when outages occur.
Since nearly all electric power outages are unexpected, and because it sometimes takes time for Hancock-Wood to restore your power, many members rely on an electric portable generator as an immediate and alternate source of power until the main supply is back. Home emergency generators are most commonly found to be gasoline powered and must be handled properly. Portable generators usually range in size, horse power and power capability.
Make the Proper Connection
Connecting the generator to the main electrical supply for your house requires the services of a qualified and licensed electrician. Installation costs can often range from $600 to $1000, and it is always a good idea to notify HWE before making an investment.
In compliance with state and local electrical codes, you must install a double-pole, double-throw transfer switch to prevent generator from backfeeding into Hancock-Wood's system, thus electrocuting any individuals repairing electrical lines.
View a wiring diagram here.
Save Your Life and Others
When using your portable electric generator, always use a three-wire extension cord that contains a three-blade grounding plug and a three-slot receptacle that will accept your unit's plug. Worn down, damaged, undersized, or ungrounded extension cords can cause electrocution.
Rules to Live By
- Make sure a qualified, licensed electrician installs a double-pole, double-throw transfer switch to connect the generator to your home's electrical system. Remember this is required by law (National Electric Code).
- Make sure generator is connected to an appropriate electrical ground.
- Operate generator in clean, dry and well-ventilated area. Always make sure you have dry hands before handling your portable generator.
- Inspect extension cords before use and replace if worn, damaged, undersized, or undergrounded.
- Before adding fuel to your generator, always turn off the engine and allow to cool. Also, fuel up in a well-ventilated area and make sure there is a fire extinguisher near to handle gasoline or fuel fires.
- Never attempt to speed up your generator to obtain more performance. By doing this the output voltage and frequency will be thrown out of standard, endangering you and those around you.
Consider the Alternatives
Do you have an alternative heat source such as natural gas, oil, or wood? If so, you may be able to get by without a personal power plant, but unfortunately these alternate sources of heat have fans, motors and pilot lamps that need electricity. Flashlights and candles are useful when the lights go out, but almost all other appliances are going to require power from somewhere. A portable generator to power you during those unexpected emergencies is useful, but remember to use your generator safely and responsibly. Review and understand your generator's operating instructions and warnings.