Generator Safety

Be aware of the potential hazards of electric generators.

Electric generators can keep your lights and appliances running during power outages — but they can also pose serious safety hazards if operated incorrectly. To ensure the safety of your family, neighbors and Jackson EMC employees, read and follow the safety, maintenance and testing instructions in the generator's operating manual.

Transfer Switch

Plug appliances directly into generator itself. Connecting the generator directly to your home's circuits or wiring must be done by a qualified, licensed electrician, who will install a transfer switch that will keep the generator from feeding power back into Jackson EMC's lines. If that happens, the power crews working to restore your electric service could be put at risk. In addition, if your generator is still hooked up when the power is restored, your generator and your household electrical system may be damaged as well.


Use heavy-duty extension cords from the generator. Overloaded cords can cause fires or equipment damage. Don't use extension cords with exposed wires or worn shielding. Make sure the cords from the generator don't present a tripping hazard. Don't run cords under rugs where heat might build up or cord damage may go unnoticed.

Ventilation and Airflow

Never run an electric generator inside a building, especially in a building attached to a dwelling. Always insure proper ventilation and airflow around the generator.

Other Considerations

Never add fuel to a generator while it's running. Avoid spilling fuel on hot components. Put out all flames or cigarettes when handling gasoline.

Always have a fully charged, approved fire extinguisher located near the generator.

Many generator parts are hot enough to burn you during operation.

Don't overload the generator. It should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment.

Keep children away from generators at all times.