Portable Generators

Home generators can be very useful during a power outage, but they can also be very dangerous if they are not used properly. Follow these tips to ensure you're using your generator safely:

  • Never use a generator indoors; use it in a dry area outdoors and away from open doors, windows and vents. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odourless gas emitted in the engine exhaust of the generator that can be fatal.
  • Check the generator and all component parts to ensure that they have been approved by a recognized certification agency
  • Portable generators that are permanently installed into your electrical wiring must have a transfer device to protect your home and the utility system by preventing generator power from flowing back into the utility system. You must take out an electrical permit to permanently connect a generator to your home's electrical system. The Electical Safety Authority strongly recommends hiring a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC) to ensure your generator is installed correctly.
  • Never connect portable generators to electrical appliances or wiring components that have been affected by flood water.
  • If you have to use extension cords, make sure they are the grounded type with three prongs and rated for how you're planning to use them. Coiled cords can get extremely hot; always uncoil cords and lay them flat.
  • Gasoline and its vapors are extremely flammable. Allow the generator engine to cool at least 2 minutes before refueling and always use fresh gasoline.

For more information on electrical safety when stormy weather hits, visit the Electrical Safety Authority's website.