Columbia, S.C. (Sept. 5, 2008)—Although most electrical outages are temporary and don‘t require any auxiliary power, some homeowners choose to use portable electric generators. South Carolina Electric and Gas Company (SCE&G) urges customers to exercise caution when using portable generators by following these six safety tips:
- Don’t connect a portable generator to your existing house wiring. Connect it directly to appliances. Only use approved and properly sized power cords.
- Don’t operate generators inside. Operate generators outside, away from flammable objects. Keep children and pets away from portable generators.
- Don’t add fuel while a generator is running. Turn it off and let it cool first.
- Don’t use a portable generator before it is properly grounded. Read your owner‘s manual for instructions.
- Don’t use an extension cord that is connected to a neighboring home or business. Depending on how the cord is connected to the home in need of power, it can result in "silent feedback" to the utility‘s electrical distribution system. This improper use can cause problems and injury to electrical utility workers.
- Don’t run a gas-powered heater or generator in an unvented space such as a basement or room with no windows or cross-ventilation. Odorless and colorless carbon monoxide (CO) gas from gas-powered heaters and generators can build up in unvented spaces resulting in severe injury or death.
If a customer wishes to have their meter removed to allow for installation of a generator, they can contact a licensed electrician to perform that service.