Generator Safety Tips

Electrocution Hazard and Electrical Shock Hazards

Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home's wiring can 'back feed' onto the power lines connected to your home and injure you, your neighbors, or utility workers.

  • Do not connect a generator directly to a home's wiring or into a regular household outlet.
  • Only start or stop a generator when there are no electrical loads connected.
  • Overloading a generator can seriously damage valuable appliances and electronics. Do not overload a generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of a generator. Prioritize your needs. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary and only to power essential equipment.
  • Use the proper power cords. Plug individual appliances into a generator using heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load. Overloaded cords can cause fires and/or equipment damage. Do not use extension cords with exposed wires or worn shielding.
  • Do not operate a generator in wet conditions such as rain or snow.
  • A generator must be properly grounded. Electrocution is a risk of operating generators that are not grounded. You should check and adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local regulations relating to grounding.
  • Generators should not be touched with wet hands and should be allowed to cool down fully before handling.


Click here to access frequently asked questions about restoring power after a severe weather event.