French Broad Electric Membership CorporationMarshall Office

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Generator Safety Tips

January brings a new year, many resolutions, and oftentimes cold, snowy or icy weather. Although the blanket of winter creates a stunning picture, it can also cause power outages. Generators, however, can provide a saving grace during power outages, but it is important to remember some safety precautions if you use one this winter.

General Safety
Be sure to always read the manufacturer's instructions before operating your generator. This ensures it runs properly and safely. Never leave a running generator unattended. Turn it off before leaving home and at night while you sleep.
Gas-powered generators produce deadly carbon-monoxide fumes that are invisible and odorless. When you buy your generator, buy a battery-operated carbon-monoxide alarm to warn of such danger.
Keep generators outside and away from windows to prevent carbon-monoxide fumes from seeping into the building. The best place to put generators is out of direct exposure to rain and snow in a well ventilated area, and not in the garage.
Parts of the generator can become hot and burn you. Be mindful of parts such as the muffler when around the generator to prevent being burned. Keep children away from the generator at all times.

Generators and Power
Be sure to use a heavy-duty, outdoor appropriate extension cord running from your generator to your appliances. Always hire an electrician to connect your generator directly into your home's wiring. If not done properly, it could back feed into utility lines, causing severe danger for utility crews working on power lines.
Make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions on grounding the generator.
Never use the generator to operate too many appliances at one time; be sure to check the manufacturer's instructions about how much load your generator can handle. Use appliances only as needed and turn the generator off when no appliances are plugged in.

We certainly hope you won't have a need for a generator this winter, but if you do, stay safe. We will work hard to get the power back on as quickly as possible.

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