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Search Results for: generators

Urge Caution When Using Back-Up Generators

Generator
During long-term power outages, many 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. Safe Electricity urges consumers to understand the proper safety steps that must be taken. If installed and operated correctly, use of standby or portable electric generators poses little danger. Improper installation or use could be dangerous to you and threaten the lives of your family, friends, neighbors and electric utility crews trying to restore service. “Consult and discuss your purchase options with a reliable vendor, your electric supplier and contractors,” advises Jay Solomon, University of Illinois Extension Engineering Educator. “A qualified vendor or electric professional will know existing safety codes and the utility’s safety requirements, and can help you select the best equipment for your needs and situation.” Properly connecting the generator into the system is Read More

Safe Use of Generators

Generator
During a power outage, you may find yourself in the dark and unable to use your appliances for a period of time. A generator can provide temporary electricity that, depending on type, can power a few appliances or an entire building. While convenient during an outage, generators used improperly can also create safety hazards. Before investing in a generator, think first about your electrical needs and usage. Know the difference between standby and portable generators: Standby generators are wired directly into the home and can be sized to match the electrical demands of the home or building. A permanently installed standby generator must have an approved transfer safety switch to avoid feeding electricity back into the electrical system outdoors, creating what’s known as “backfeed.” Backfeed is dangerous for line workers as well as anyone who may be near downed power lines. Portable generators do not permanently attach to the home, and can power only the appliances that are plugged into Read More

Safe Electricity Provides Essential Guidelines For Generator Safety

Generator
For Release: February 22, 2016 Contact: Molly Hall, info@safeelectricity.org, 217-546-6815 SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – When severe storms and natural disasters cause power outages, it can be an inconvenience—or even a problem—to be without electricity. Purchasing a backup generator can help with preparation for such power outages and provide peace of mind. As with all things involving electricity, the incorrect use of generators can create potentially hazardous situations. Safe Electricity outlines essential considerations in purchasing the right generator and safely operate it. “Improper use of a standby or portable generator can lead to injury or even death,” explains Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council’s Safe Electricity program. “It’s important to learn and follow all safety measures to help keep yourself and others safe.” Decide what needs powered. What appliances, devices, and equipment are essential? Choose a generator size that can handle the full load of the estimated power needed. Keep in mind that it takes more power to turn an Read More

Hurricane Safety Talking Points

Hurricane
Safety after a Hurricane Storm debris can hide dangers, such as downed power lines. Use caution in any clean-up effort.  Any downed or sagging wires should be considered energized and potentially dangerous. Stay away, warn others to stay away, and call the utility. If power lines come down on or around your vehicle, call for help and remain in the vehicle. Do not attempt to get out until a utility lineman can assure you the power has been turned off. Only in the rare instance of fire should people exit the car. Then, they must know how to do so safely, jumping free and clear of the vehicle, landing with feet together and hopping away. If you come upon or witness an accident involving toppled power poles and lines, don’t leave your vehicle to approach the accident scene. From the point where the downed line is making contact, deadly voltage will radiate for an unknown distance. Use caution at intersections Read More

Generator Safety

Generator
Spanish Version  Portable or permanently installed standby generators can come in handy during long-term power outages. However, if you do not know how to use them properly, they can be dangerous. Contact a qualified vendor or electrician to help you determine what generator is best suited to your needs. Before using, read and follow manufacturer’s instructions. If you are installing a permanent generator, it must have a transfer switch. The transfer switch prevents energy from leaving your generator and going back onto the utility electrical equipment, when it could be dangerous to a lineman or others near downed power lines, a process known as “back feed.” A qualified electrician should install your generator and transfer switch. Safe Electricity has the following tips to use portable generators safely: Operate it outdoors in an area with plenty of ventilation. Never run a generator in a home or garage. Generators give off deadly carbon monoxide. Do not plug a generator into the wall Read More

Electrical Dangers Rise Along with Flood Waters in the Carolinas

Hurricane
For Immediate Release Contact: Krista Lisser (217) 546-6815 Email: klisser@illinois.edu (SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) —Hurricane Florence has weakened, but the storm is far from over. The threat of tornadoes and continued flooding remains a serious problem in many areas. Hundreds of thousands remain without power in the Carolinas and many are turning to generators to power their homes. Safe Electricity wants consumers to be aware of electrical hazards from flooding as well as generator safety considerations. At least three deaths have been associated with generators in the Carolinas. One North Carolina man was killed when he was electrocuted while plugging in his generator, and a couple in South Carolina died due to carbon monoxide poisoning from their generator. “Improper use of a standby or portable generator can be deadly to the user and others in the area,” says Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council and its Safe Electricity program. “It’s important to follow all safety measures to help keep Read More

Prepare a storm kit to help you get through a power outage.

Home Storm Preparation
Video Getting Through Until Power Gets Restored to You Severe storms are devastating to homes, properties, and lives. These storms can also take down power lines—creating a dangerous situation for all of us, including the linemen and linewomen working hard to get your power turned back on. How long it takes to get your power restored depends on the extent of the storm’s destruction, the number of outages, and when it becomes safe for utility personnel to get to the damaged areas. There are many steps in the assessment and restoration process—clearing downed power lines; ensuring public health and safety facilities are operational; checking power stations and transformers; repairing transmission lines, substations, and distribution lines; and getting power restored to customers within the various damaged areas. Be sure to contact your electric utility immediately to report the outage. Safe Electricity and its members want you to know how to stay safe and get through until power can be restored to Read More

Generator Selection

Generator
So you think you need a portable generator If you live somewhere where storms and severe weather cause frequent power outages, you may be considering purchasing a generator to hold you over during outages. Safe Electricity wants you to understand the benefits, limitations, and safety considerations of generators before you even enter a store. Before anything else, you need to know where you will put a generator. Never use a generator in your home or garage. They give off deadly carbon monoxide. You should operate your generator outdoors on a dry, level surface. Your generator should be under a canopy. Remember, water and a generator is a dangerous combination. After you know where you will run a generator, you should decide what electronics the generator will power. A portable generator cannot meet all your electric needs. You must decide what electronics would be most important during a power outage. Add up the wattage of these appliances. Your generator should have Read More

Safety after the Storm and During Power Outages

Storm Safety Kit
Video Spanish version Severe storms are devastating to homes, properties, and lives. These storms can also take down power lines—creating a dangerous situation for all of us, including the line crews working hard to get your power turned back on. How long it takes to get your power restored depends on the extent of the storm’s destruction, the number of outages, and the point when it is safe for utility personnel to get to the damaged areas. There are many steps in the assessment and restoration process—clearing downed power lines; ensuring public health and safety facilities are operational; checking power stations and transformers; repairing transmission lines, substations, and distribution lines; and getting power restored to customers within the damaged areas. Contact your electric utility to report the outage and use caution if venturing outside after a storm: Just because power lines are damaged does not mean they are dead. Every downed power line is potentially energized and dangerous until utility Read More

Power Line Safety After The Storm

Downed Lines and Trees
video Severe weather happens year-round. Tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms can seriously damage power lines and other electrical equipment. Storm damage causes dangers that lurk after a storm has passed. Safe Electricity encourages you to be aware of and prepared for those dangers. When you see power lines on the ground following a storm, stay away, warn others to stay away and contact the electric utility. Lines do not have to be arcing or sparking to be live. Any utility wire, including telephone or cable lines sagging or down could be in contact with an energized power line making they also very dangerous, so stay away from all of them. Be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard. A downed power line can energize things around it, such as chain link fences and metal culverts. Keep in mind that a line that’s indeed “dead” could become energized during power restoration efforts or improper Read More

Weathering a Winter Storm

winter
Video Checklist Spanish version When ice and heavy snow bring down limbs and power lines, safety is a consideration indoors and out. Make sure you know how to weather the storm. When outside, stay away from downed power lines: A power line need not be sparking or arcing to be energized. Equipment near power lines can also be energized and dangerous. Lines that appear to be “dead” can become energized as crews work to restore power or sometimes from improper use of emergency generators. Assume all low and downed lines are energized and dangerous. If you see a downed or sagging line, contact your utility. Motorists should never drive over a downed line, as snagging a line could pull down a pole or other equipment and cause other hazards. Be careful approaching intersections where traffic or crossing lights may be out. If you plan to use a generator, know how to operate it safely Before a winter storm, have supplies on hand Read More