The use of portable or permanently installed generators in homes and businesses has become increasingly popular. When the power goes out due to storms, generators can provide safety, comfort and security to your family or business. Unfortunately, not everyone understands the requirements for safe installation and operation of a generator. Knowing the hazards can prevent equipment damage, fires, serious injury and death.
Backfeed is a dangerous condition that occurs when electricity produced from a portable generator flows through portions of the wiring within the structure, feeds back electricity through the electric meter and ends up energizing the utility-owned transformer in reverse of its normal operation. The most common cause of this is when a person plugs their generator output into a household wall outlet in hopes of energizing the other outlets throughout the home. A home's electrical system isn't built for this, and it can cause fires! If you want to safely power your home with a portable generator, have a licensed electrician install a double-throw switch.
Proper sizing, voltage selection and identifying the proper installation location are all important. When choosing the size and voltage, it is important to consider the equipment you plan to operate.
Generators burn petroleum-based fuels to produce electricity and their exhaust produces Carbon Monoxide (CO). This tasteless and odorless toxic gas is a by-product of incomplete combustion and can lead to CO poisoning. If proper installation and combustible air requirements are not met, serious injury and death can occur. Early detection is key to staying safe. Using a CO detector is recommended in all homes and businesses. If you suspect you have been exposed to CO, seek medical attention immediately.
Safety is our top priority. Each year, using a special high-voltage safety trailer and tabletop equipment, we educate thousands of children and adults about electrical safety. If you’re interested in having a safety demonstration brought to your school or group, just call us at 1-800-222-3121.
Gas, electric, water, telecommunications and sewer lines are just some of the utilities buried underground, sometimes at very shallow depths.
Before you move dirt for any reason – installing a sprinkler system, building a shed, even planting a tree – you should call Kansas One Call by dialing 811. When you call two business days in advance of digging, crews will locate and mark all underground utilities at no charge to you. By knowing what is below ground, you can save yourself the headache and expense of repairing any utility lines you could damage by digging into them.