GENERATORS – ELECTRICAL HAZARDS – PART 4

In Part 3 of this newsletter, we looked at the legal and insurance considerations applicable to generators.

In this newsletter we will look at electrical hazards associated with the use of portable and standby generators

The following safety tips are simple ways which can help you stay safe and prevent injury or damage:

  • Generators pose a risk of shock and electrocution, especially if they are operated in wet conditions.
  • Operate the generator under an well ventilated open, canopy like structure on a dry surface where water cannot reach it or puddle or drain under it.
  • Dry your hands, if wet, before touching the generator.
  • If you are using a portable generator which has not been wired into your premises by a qualified electrician use only heavy-duty extension cords that are specifically designed for outdoor use.
  • Use extension cords that are long enough to allow the generator to be placed outdoors and far away from windows, doors and vents to the home or to other structures that could be occupied.
  • Check that the entire length of each cord is free of cuts or tears.
  • Protect the cord from getting pinched or crushed if it passes through a window or doorway.
  • Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “back feeding.” This is extremely dangerous and presents a possible electrocution risk to external workers and neighbours served by the same transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household circuit protection devices.
  • For stationary or standby genrators a licensed electrician or registered electrical contractor must carry out the installation.
  • Once the electrician has completed the installation an Electrical Certificate of Compliance must be issued. Failure to obtain such a certificate could invalidate any insurance claims arising as a result of electrical faults or accidents.

In the next newsletter, we will look at the increase and severity of Fire claims.