Safe Generator Use

Safety is a top priority at PRECO. After the storm, we rush to your aid as soon as conditions allow our line workers to do so safely.

Photo of portable generatorFor safety, our crews verify that lines are de-energized and ground the circuit to make sure the line cannot be energized by a portable generator while they’re working. But even after these measures, our employees’ lives remain in your hands.

Unfortunately, the very people we are there to help may unknowingly put our lives—and their own—in danger.

Portable generators can prove fatal to you, your family members, neighbors and PRECO line workers when used improperly.

A generator connected to a home’s wiring or plugged into a regular household outlet can backfeed along power lines and electrocute anyone who comes in contact with them—even if the line seems dead.

Generator owners themselves may be at risk of electrocution, fire, injury, property damage or carbon monoxide poisoning if they do not follow safety rules.


  • Never connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring unless your home has been wired for it. A backfeed along power lines can electrocute anyone coming in contact with them.
  • Only a licensed electrician is qualified to connect a generator directly into a building’s electrical system. For safety, an electrician must install a switch to transfer the power source between PRECO’s system and the generator.
  • 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.
  • Use heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cords. Cords must be free of damage and have a three prong plug, otherwise fire or equipment damage may result.
  • Never overload a generator. Only use when necessary to power essential equipment or appliances.
  • Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting it down.
  • Keep the generator dry. Operate on a dry surface under an open structure.
  • Never fuel a generator while it is operating.
  • Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation. Never cut corners when it comes to safety.

Protect the safety of your family during outages, and those who come to your aid during emergency situations. When we work together for safety and the good of our communities, we all benefit.

Also see our Generator Safety page.