Use your generator safely!
A generator can be a wonderful tool during an outage, but it can also be extremely dangerous. If used incorrectly, a generator can cause serious harm or even death. It is important that when using your generator, you keep the following safety tips in mind — you just may save a life.
- Know your generator! Read all the information on installation, safety and maintenance, and follow instructions regarding maintenance and testing. When a generator is not properly installed, it will “back feed” through the transformer and produce an output of 7,200 volts onto United Power’s distribution line. As a result, a line crew working on the system would be in danger.
- For everyone’s sake, isolate your generator from the co-op’s power lines. This means you should connect appliances or other devices directly to the generator with the appropriate-sized cords. If you connect it directly to your home’s wiring, a double-throw switch is required by electrical code to separate your generator from United Power’s system.
- Take care when fueling your generator. Never try to refuel the unit while it is operating. Avoid spilling gasoline or other fuels on hot components.
- Provide adequate ventilation and air cooling for the generator to prevent overheating and the accumulation of toxic exhaust fumes. Do not install your generator in a basement, attached garage, or any enclosed area. Exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide, which is an odorless, invisible, poisonous gas.
If you have additional questions, please call United Power. We will be glad to work with you to make sure your generator is sized and connected properly. If you have already installed or plan to install a generator, please contact United Power at 303-637-1300 so that we may note this on your account.