If you plan to use a generator, keep these safety tips in mind.

Never connect a generator directly to household wiring.

The only safe way to connect a generator is through a double pole, double throw transfer switch, which must be installed by a qualified electrician and approved by Wood County Electric Cooperative. The transfer switch closes the path of electricity between our lines and your main electrical panel and opens the path between the generator and the main panel. Opening the main breaker to isolate household wiring from co-op wiring is neither legal nor safe. Connecting a generator directly to household wiring in an unauthorized manner may create backfeed or electrical energy going from the house to utility wires. Backfeed creates severe risk for electrical crews. If the utility wires are re-energized while a generator is connected via house wiring, the generator could explode and catch fire. Make sure the generator is connected to an appropriate electrical ground following the guidelines of the National Electrical Code and the generator instructions.

Generators are meant to be used for backup electric service.

If you require continuous, uninterrupted service, call us at (903) 763-2203 or (800) 762-2203 after installation to ensure that your electric generator will safely do the job it is intended to do. An error in connecting a generator could pose dangers to members, their families and friends, as well as to co-op personnel working on nearby facilities.

Operate generators outdoors.

Generators should be used in a well-ventilated outdoor area, to avoid the risk of breathing exhaust fumes that contain carbon monoxide. Protect generators from rainfall and other moisture to prevent the risk of electrocution, and always make sure your hands are dry and you’re standing in a dry place when you operator a generator. To avoid overheating, keep the generator clean and in good running order; do not allow dust and dirt to accumulate.

Always turn the engine off and allow it to cool before adding fuel.

Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator. When using a generator for backup power, protect appliances from damage due to potential overloads by turning them off or disconnecting them (as well as turning off lights) before starting the generator. Once it is running, turn appliances and lights on one at a time to avoid overloading the unit. When generator power is no longer needed, turn lights and appliances off before turning the generator off. Never tamper with factory-set engine speed settings on a generator.