Skip to main navigation.
Report a Power Outage: 970-887-3378


Preventing Electrocutions Associated with Portable Generators Plugged Into Household Circuits 

When power lines are down, residents can restore energy
to their ""homes or other structures by using another power
source such as 
a portable generator. If water has been
present anywhere near
electrical circuits and electrical
equipment, turn off the power at the
main breaker or fuse
on the service panel. Do not turn the power
back on until
electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified

If it is necessary to use a portable generator,
manufacturer recommendations and specifications
must be strictly followed. If there are any questions
regarding the operation or installation of the portable
ator, a qualified electrician should be
immediately contacted to assist in installation and 
start-up activities. The generator should always be

positioned outside the structure.

When using gasoline- and diesel-powered portable
generators to supply power to a building, switch the
main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the "off"
position prior to starting the generator.


This will prevent power lines from being inadvertently
energized by backfeed electrical energy from the
generators, and help protect utility line workers or other
repair workers or people in neighboring buildings from
possible electrocution. If the generator is plugged into a
household circuit without turning the main breaker to the
“off” position or removing the main fuse, the electrical
current could reverse, go back through the circuit to the
outside power grid, and energize power lines or electrical
systems in other buildings to at or near their original
voltage without the knowledge of utility or other workers.


Effects of Backfeed

The problem of backfeed in electrical energy is a potential risk for electrical energy workers. Electrocutions are the fifth leading cause of all reported occupational deaths. Following the safety guidelines below can reduce this risk.


Other Generator Hazards

Generator use is also a major cause of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Generators should only be used in well ventilated areas.



Powered by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Logo