During long-term power outages, many folks rely on portable generators for emergency power. The growing popularity of portable electric generators has resulted in millions being placed in homes and small businesses across the nation. But it’s estimated only a small percentage are hooked up correctly. If installed and operated correctly, use of standby or portable electric generators poses little danger.

Consumers Energy urges co-op members to understand the proper safety steps that must be taken and to use a licensed professional to properly connect the generator into their system. 

Generator safety in rain and snow

Follow these safety guidelines when operating a generator:

NEVER connect a standby generator into your home's electrical system.
Plug appliances directly into the provided outlets on the generator.
Set-up and run in a well-ventilated area outside the home.
Make sure the generator is out and away from your garage, doors, windows, and vents - recommended 25 feet outside the home.
Use a heavy-duty extension cord to connect electric appliances to the outlet on the generator.
Start the generator first before connecting appliances.
Make sure the generator is grounded; use a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet (GFCI).
Do not overload the generator.
Do not use the generator in wet conditions.
Turn off all appliances powered by the generator before shutting down the generator.
Store the fuel for the generator safely, away from living areas.
Before refueling, always turn the generator off and let it cool down.
A generator is a temporary power source; use it only when necessary to power essential equipment or appliances.
Keep children away from portable generators at all times.