1. Never plug a portable generator into a wall outlet or your home?s electrical system. There are only two safe ways to connect a standby generator to your equipment:

Stationary Generator: An approved generator transfer switch, which keeps your house circuits separate from the electric co-op, should be installed by a professional.

Portable Generator: Plug appliances directly into the outlet provided on the generator.

2. Set up and run your generator in a dry, well-ventilated area outside your home, and away from the garage, doors, windows, and vents. The carbon monoxide generated is DEADLY—install a CO detector in your home and check the batteries regularly.

3. Use a heavy-duty extension cord to connect electric appliances to the outlet on the generator.

4. Start the generator BEFORE connecting appliances.

5. To avoid a fire, turn off and let the generator cool before refueling.

Source: SafeElectricity.org
Developed jointly by the Energy Education Council & Rural Electricity Resource Council


  1. re: how to use a portable generator safely……………states to run your generator away from garage; why? I was thinking of putting it in my DETACHED garage 28’x32′ since my meter and one of my breaker panels (newer one) are out there. It is not a sealed garage air flows through from where the rafters meet the walls , I was planning on calling my electrician today to have him arrange to install the proper inlet/switch and then I picked up the Countrylines and saw this article. Plus I can open 2 windows an inch or so for more ventilation. I was just thinking if we have another good storm this winter like we just did 6 -24 hours without heat would not be good her in the lovely UP.

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