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Generator Safety

generatorGenerators— back-up/emergency generators and/or renewable energy generators—can be very useful around your home or business. It’s critical to your safety and the safety of others, including PSNH electrical crews, that you follow the generator safety guidelines below.

Why the danger?

When improperly installed, a generator—no matter how small you might think it is—can backfeed dangerous amounts of electricity into the electrical grid beyond your home. The electricity, once on “the grid” is quickly “stepped up” to much higher and dangerous voltages. This can cause fires as well as be a danger to nearby residents, and to utility line technicians.

  • Buying: Before you buy a generator, make sure it's the right size for your needs.
  • Installing: Have a qualified electrician install the generator, which must be connected to your home's wiring through a special transfer switch. This transfer switch ensures that the house wires are isolated from the utility wires, preventing any electrical backfeed onto the electrical system.
  • Venting and refueling: Generators must be vented outside and should never be refueled while operating. You may need a town permit or an official inspection for the generator. Tip: place your generator away from your home, and especially at a distance from windows and doorways that could allow dangerous exhaust and carbon monoxide inside. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you if it reaches dangerous levels in an enclosed space. Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.