ESFI Urges Consumers to Generate Safety During Outages!
(Arlington, Va.)-As consumer reliance on electricity has increased, tolerance for power outages has declined. To combat the havoc wreaked by ice storms, thunderstorms, high winds and hurricanes, many homeowners turn to portable electric generators.
“Portable electric generators are a good source of power for heat, light, refrigeration and cooking during electrical outages. But, if generators are improperly installed or operated, they can become deadly,” noted Michael G. Clendenin, executive director of the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). “People die needlessly every year in accidents that involve portable electric generators. Safety awareness can prevent those deaths.”
ESFI recommends following these portable electric generator safety precautions to avoid dangerous situations:
- NEVER operate the generator in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces, including homes, garages and basements. Generators produce high levels of carbon monoxide very quickly, a colorless, odorless, deadly gas.
- Keep the generator dry. To protect it from moisture, operate on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure.
- Plug appliances directly into the generator. Or, use a heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated in watts or amps at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads.
- Do not connect your generator directly to your household wiring, as this can back feed along the power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including line workers making repairs
- Make sure the generator is properly grounded.
- Do not overload the generator. A portable generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment or appliances.
- Make sure fuel for the generator is stored safely, away from living areas, in properly labeled containers, and away from fuel-burning appliances. And before re-fueling, always turn the generator off and let it cool down.
- Turn off all appliances powered by the generator before shutting down the generator.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation and maintenance.
- Keep children away from portable generators at all times.
“Complacency around portable electric generators is deadly,” Clendenin notes. “Following these safety precautions can help keep you and your family safe while you wait for the power to come back on.” For these and other electrical safety tips, visit the ESFI website at www.electrical-safety.org or call 703-841-3229.
For additional electrical safety information, visit the Foundation’s web site at www.electrical-safety.org or call 703-841-3229.
Founded in 1994, ESFI, the Electrical Safety Foundation International, is North America’s only non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety in the home, school and workplace. A registered 501(c)(3) funded by leading electrical manufacturers, internationally recognized testing laboratories, electrical unions and associations, utilities and consumer groups and individuals, ESFI sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May, and engages in public education campaigns and proactive media relations to help reduce property damage, injury and death due to electrical accidents.
STAY AWAY FROM DOWNED POWER LINES
Do not go around power lines on the ground. Always assume line is energized and call Concordia Electric. Keep everyone away from the area until our personnel arrive on the scene.
If one must be used, place it in a “No trip zone” and never under carpet or rugs.
Connecting multiple cords or using damaged ones may cause overheating and fires.
Keep heaters and fans at least 3 feet away from curtains and furniture.
An adapter must be used when plugging in a heater with a three-prong plug in a two-hole outlet. DO NOT REMOVE THIRD PRONG!!
Never go to sleep with a space heater on.
To prevent shocks and death, GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupter) should be installed anywhere water and electricity can mix.
DO NOT FLY KITES NEAR POWER LINES
DO NOT CLIMB TREES NEAR POWER LINES
KEEP ANTENNAS AND LADDERS AWAY FROM POWER LINES
DO NOT USE ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES, SUCH AS HAIR DRYERS AND RADIOS, AROUND SHOWERS OR BATHS.
NEVER PULL A PLUG OUT BY THE CORD
OVERHEAD POWER LINE SAFETY ACT
Louisiana Law (LRS 45:141-146) prohibits unauthorized persons from working within 10 feet of any high voltage overhead lines. The law requires certain conditions be met before work is done within 10 feet of overhead power lines. This also includes moving equipment under the power lines.
Notice is to be given to owner or operator of lines at least 48 hours before any work is done. The work shall be performed only after satisfactory mutual arrangements have been negotiated between the owner or operator of the high voltage overhead lines and the person or persons responsible for the work to be done.