PRECO Provides Portable Generator Safety Tips

Posted: September 9, 2017 at 7:00 am

When severe storms cause long-term outages many homeowners owners turn to portable generators to provide their temporary power needs. For your safety, PRECO has prepared a list of important generator safety tips.

Portable Generator Safety

If used improperly, a generator can pose a serious health threat to both consumers and line crews working to restore power.

When choosing to use a generator, only purchase from a reputable dealer who can service and maintain the unit.

Only use portable electric generators in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Failure to do so can cause serious injury or death.

Most stand-alone generators are gasoline-powered. Only use them outdoors in well-ventilated areas.

If a generator has panel-mounted electrical receptacles, avoid using extension cords by plugging appliances directly into the unit.

Never connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring system without a licensed electrician disconnecting the house wiring from PRECO’s electric system. It can create a safety hazard for you and linemen working to restore power, and may also damage the generator or your home’s wiring.

Only a licensed electrician is qualified to connect a generator directly into your home’s electrical system. For safety, an electrician must install a switch to transfer the power source between PRECO’s system and the generator.

A generator should be properly sized for the expected load. For example, a 3-kilowatt generator will produce 3,000 watts. This is enough power for a 1,200-watt hair dryer and a 1,600-watt toaster, with some power left over for a few lightbulbs.

For the sake of your neighbors, consider where to place the generator to reduce noise pollution. Ensure that deadly exhaust fumes cannot drift through your or your neighbor’s windows.

Before beginning the installation of permanent generator, consult with suppliers, vendors and local government about required permits. Only hire a licensed electrician to perform the work.

To report an outage, use PRECO’s SmartHub mobile app, text OUT to 8002823824 (prior registration required) or call 800-282-3824. For updates, find us on Facebook and Twitter or visit

Peace River Electric Cooperative (PRECO), a Touchstone Energy® distribution electric cooperative headquartered in Wauchula, Florida, provides electric service and energy solutions to more than 40,000 member/consumers in 10 central Florida counties: Brevard, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Manatee, Osceola, Polk and Sarasota. Through almost 4,000 miles of power lines, the electric cooperative has been in business since 1940 as a member-owned, not-for-profit organization.