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Using your generator safely can prevent tragedy

Generators are helpful when the power goes out, especially for an extended period of time after a storm. However, if a generator is improperly installed, it can cause harm to lineworkers or the public. This is because generators connected directly to the power grid, especially without a double throw switch, can cause backfeed.

Backfeed energizes power lines that should not be energized, sending electricity in its reverse direction. This is why members are cautioned to always assume a downed powerline is live. Even if it is not sparking or buzzing, a line can kill you or any lineworkers down the line.

Never attach a generator directly to your home or office unless the generator has a properly installed switch because this puts you and your cooperative lineworkers at risk of electrocution. A qualified electrician can properly install a generator with a double throw switch, sometimes called a transfer switch. Always notify us when you install a generator.

Be sure to plug electrical appliances directly into the generator using the manufacturer’s supplied cords. Use undamaged, heavy-duty extension cords that are 3-prong grounded. Use ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s) per the manufacturer’s instructions.

The three local businesses shown at right are offering a free extended warranty on Generac generators through the Co-op Connections program. Learn more at

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