For Your Home / Education & Safety / Safety Tips and Information

Electric Generators

Portable emergency generators can provide an important backup power supply for homeowners with special needs, such as medical equipment, refrigerators, sump pumps, or office equipment.

Presence of Emergency Generators

  • Some homeowners or businesses have installed Emergency Generators or Solar Power Systems to either maintain or supplement their electric service.  While this equipment provides much needed energy relief to customers, it can pose a potential threat to emergency responders in the event that a gas leak may enter the premises.  If a gas leak is detected inside a structure, there is a possibility that emergency responders may attempt to disconnect the existing electric supply to remove sources of ignition.  If so, emergency generators may be equipped to automatically turn on, creating an ignition source, when the electric supply is cut off.  It is recommended that the customer should place a label outside the structure near the electric line that indicates the presence of an emergency generator.
  • Never connect a portable electric generator to your home’s electrical system during a power outage. Under the law, you are responsible for making sure your generator’s electricity doesn’t feed back into PSE&G’s power lines. Failure to do so can cause serious injuries or death.
  • If you purchase a generator, have a qualified electrician properly size and install it. If you install the generator yourself, have a local electrical inspector check the installation for compliance with safety codes. A permit may be required for installation. If you're renting a generator for temporary use, choose equipment that is properly sized for your needs and that comes with complete operating instructions.  Backfeed occurs when an improperly connected generator begins feeding electricity back into the power lines. Protect repair crews and your neighbors. Backfeed can cause a serious injury or death. It can also cause damage to the generator when electric service is restored.

Use Caution with Electric Generators

  • These generators should be operated only when they are isolated from utility lines. Ordinarily, they are connected directly to an appliance or piece of equipment by a properly rated extension cord. They should never be plugged into a wall outlet to power an entire house.
  • Be sure your generator is UL-approved, installed by a licensed electrician, and inspected by your local electrical inspector. There must be a way to physically disconnect your generator from PSE&G's lines. Customers who improperly install, operate or maintain a generator are responsible for any injury or damage suffered by themselves, their neighbors or utility workers.
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