New law aimed at generator safety
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The sound of a generator firing up is the soundtrack of recovery. The days after a hurricane can be more dangerous than the storm itself when people use those generators improperly. A big problem occurs when someone back-feeds the connection.
“It’s basically hooking your generator up to the electrical system that feeds your house. The problem is that electricity goes both ways. "
Which electrifies the lines going outside a home. Alabama State Senator Chris Elliott wrote a bill when the problem was relayed to him after Hurricane Sally.
“A lineman had run into this and went to the homeowner and asked them to disconnect the generator and they wouldn’t do it,” Elliott told us.
Now it’s illegal.
“You can cause a fire. You can hurt yourself by doing that and again your neighbors who may be trying to move what they think are de-energized lines that you’ve energized with an improperly connected generator, " Elliott said.
There are other concerns when it comes to running a generator.
You never want to add gas to your generator when it’s hot. The fumes can catch on fire.
When you’re using extension cords, make sure you only use heavy-duty extension cords that can handle the load.
Probably most importantly, never run a generator in an enclosed space like a garage or carport or outside an open window. You never want to let those fumes into your home. That can be deadly.
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