There's something you should know about back-up generators if you use one at home – Installing or using them incorrectly can seriously injure a home-owner or utility worker!
If you buy one, follow these safety rules:
If you want to connect the generator to your home electrical system, hire a licensed electrician to install the generator and a transfer switch (also called a double-throw switch). An improperly installed generator can accidentally send electricity onto utility power lines, energizing wires that lineworkers think are dead. A lineworker who handles this now energized line could be injured or even killed!
Be sure to place your portable generator outdoors so your family won't breath the exhaust fumes from the gas it uses. Don't forget to keep extra fuel on hand for unexpected outages.
If you connect only a few appliances to a portable generator, you can do it yourself. Make sure you use an appropriately sized electrical extension cord that is in good condition.