Take Precautions When Using Backup Electricity

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When the power goes out or gets interrupted, PSEG Long Island Power crews work with persistence and haste to safely restore all power, but sometimes a backup generator is necessary. The company encourages anyone using a generator to abide by all safety guidelines and use caution when using generators.

Backup power generators should be used only as a standby power source for short periods of time, and when necessary due to emergency. They must be installed by a licensed electrician and be sure that they meet fire underwriter regulations. The electrician who installs the generator should brief the owner on these safety guidelines and regulations.
By taking precautions and following safety guidelines, hazards such as carbon monoxide poisoning, toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution and fire can be avoided.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal and portable generators can produce high levels of the gas, so be sure to have carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout the house before installing and using the generator. Make sure to keep portable generators out of enclosed or partially enclosed spaces when using them. The gas is colorless and odorless; if symptoms of nausea, dizziness or weakness become present, get to fresh air immediately.

Keep the generator outside and away from any windows so that the carbon monoxide fumes cannot enter the house, and make sure three to four feet of clear space is available around the generator. Don’t connect the generator to your home’s electric wiring, because power can flow out of your home and into the electric system, creating a hazard for working crews. Do not make fuel inputs while the generator is running or still hot, and do not store the gasoline in your home. It might be necessary to turn off some appliances to avoid overload; they cannot all be used at once. Make sure that all appliances are off before starting the generator.

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