BERLIN, Connecticut — July 9, 2009 -- Portable home electric generators can provide piece of mind in the event that there is a loss of power. The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) encourages customers to understand how to properly use these machines. "These generators are good to have, just in case there's a problem with the power," said John Ferrantino, director, Customer Solutions, CL&P. "But it's also important to remember that there are safety guidelines that should be followed to keep customers and our line workers safe."
CL&P reminds customers:
· Don’t connect the generator directly to your home’s wiring. Have a qualified electrician connect the generator with a transfer switch so that it is not connected directly to your home wiring. If not installed properly, generators can feed electricity back into power lines that are connected to your home, and pose a deadly situation for electrical workers in the area.
· Don’t overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the generator can handle, as overloading your generator can seriously damage your appliances and electronics. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment.
· Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. Also, never use a generator in basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even when they are ventilated. Locate the unit far from doors, windows, and vents that could allow the carbon monoxide to come indoors, which can be deadly.
· Read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation. Also, follow state, local, and national fire and electric codes.
· Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting down your generator.
· Keep children and pets away from electric generators at all times.
· Use the proper power cords. Only use heavy-duty, outdoor-rated power cords with an adequate wire gauge. Overloaded cords can cause fires or equipment damage. Never use extension cords with exposed wires or worn shielding. Make sure the cords from the generator don’t present a tripping hazard and protect the cords from getting pinched or crushed if they pass through a window or doorway.
· Prevent electrical shock - make sure your generator is properly grounded. Your manufacturer’s manual contains the correct grounding procedures.
· Always remember to turn off the generator while you sleep and when you are away from home to avoid a possible fire hazard.
To learn more about electrical safety, visit our Web site at www.cl-p.com, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov, Electrical Safety Foundation International at www.esfi.org or The National Fire Protection Association at www.nfpa.org.
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The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) has been part of everyday life in Connecticut for more than 100 years, providing safe and reliable electric service to homes, neighborhoods and businesses. With 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns, CL&P is an active member in the communities it serves, offering programs in energy efficiency, economic development and environmental stewardship. CL&P is part of the Northeast Utilities System (NYSE: NU). For more information, please visit www.cl-p.com.