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Do You Have a Back Up When Your Power is Out?

Hurricane Katrina #1604
Posted at 4:20 PM, Sep 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-11 18:23:52-04

Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative strives to provide you with reliable, uninterrupted service every day of the year, but outages still occur. Whether they are caused by man, animals, or mother nature, some outages are unavoidable. When they do occur, many homeowners use portable electric generators until the power is restored.

Portable electric generators offer homeowners a good source of power during electrical outages. However, generators that are improperly installed or operated can be deadly.

Generators should never be connected directly to household wiring. A generator connected to your home’s wiring can back-feed power onto the utility lines, creating a dangerous and even deadly situation for line crews working to restore power. To safely operate portable generators, they need to be completely isolated from the power lines. To accomplish this, a qualified, licensed electrician should install a double-throw switch on your generator to make sure there is no way for it to feed power back on the utility lines when it is providing power to your home.

YVEC will, upon request send someone out to inspect the connection on new or existing generator installations. Safety for our linemen and our members is very important to us!

Here are some additional tips to follow for the safe operation of portable electrical generators:

• Be sure to follow manufacturers’ directions for installation and operation.

• To prevent electric shock, make sure your generator is properly grounded. The operation manual should provide correct grounding procedures.

• Operate electric generators or other fuel-powered machines outside where deadly carbon monoxide fumes cannot enter the home.

• Use the generator only in a well-ventilated and dry area located away from air intakes to the house. Do not use a generator in an attached garage.

• Do not overload the generator by operating more appliances and equipment than the generator can handle. The operating instructions should have an output rating for the generator.

• Individual appliances should be plugged directly into the receptacle outlet of the generator using appropriately sized extension cords to carry the electric load. Make sure the cords are rated for outdoor use, have a grounded, three-pronged plug, and are in good condition.

• Do not run extension cords under rugs.

• Never plug a generator into a household outlet.

• Do not refuel a generator while it is running.

• Only store fuel outside of living areas and away from heat sources like water heater pilot lights.

• Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting it down.

• Keep children and pets away from generators.

For more energy tips and information go www.yvec.com.

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