Improper use or installation of an electric generator can cause property damage, serious injury, or even death. Please keep the following safety and installation guidelines in mind when installing or using a home generator. Download these
safety and installation guidelines
Generator InstallationThe ideal setup for running a generator is to have an electrician evaluate your home’s electrical system for proper grounding and polarity and then install a generator transfer switch. A homeowner connects the generator to the transfer switch. From there, the generator’s power is fed into the service panel and to the dedicated circuits that have been specifically wired to be powered by the generator. The transfer switch also prevents electricity from feeding back into the electrical grid that powers your neighborhood. This protects utility workers from encountering unexpected current coming from your house — a dangerous condition known as backfeed. In addition, backfeed could severely overload the generator and damage the unit.
- Generators, disconnects, and transfer switches MUST be installed by a qualified electrical contractor.
- Do not attempt to install these devices to
your electrical panel on your own, as it is
extremely dangerous. Have a qualified
contractor install these devices.
- Check and
follow national, state, and local fire and
- Always make sure electricity is properly disconnected from
your utility service before starting your backup generator.
- Many engine parts are hot during operation and severe
burns may result if touched.
- Never run a generator inside a building, especially in a
building attached to a dwelling. It is against ALL fire and
- Generators produce carbon monoxide (CO). Always ensure
proper ventilation and airflow around the generator. Never
operate a generator in an enclosed compartment.
- Never fuel the generator when it is running.
- Always have a fully-charged and approved fire extinguisher
located near the generator.
- Never try to repair a generator, only qualified service
technicians should perform repairs.
- To prevent electrical shock, support the generator cords
off the ground or relocate them, rather than allowing them to
lay in puddles. Likewise, replace any cord with damaged