Storm Season Prep: Review Proper Use of Backup Generators

Storm Season Prep: Review Proper Use of Backup Generators

In anticipation of hurricanes or winter storms, your association may have obtained, or asked the board to consider investing in, a backup generator for the building. If you manage a residential community, owners may approach you about whether they may buy an individual generator for their own home, or if they already own a generator, they may ask you about guidelines for using it.

So before you fire up the backup engine for your condo building or give homeowners the go-ahead for using theirs, share these safety tips with staff and members:

Tip #1: Place outside and strictly follow manufacturer recommendations. If it’s necessary to use a portable generator, manufacturer recommendations and specifications must be strictly followed. And the generator should always be positioned outside the structure.

Tip #2: Be mindful of backfeed. This is to prevent electrocutions associated with portable generators plugged into household circuits. The problem of backfeed in electrical energy is a potential risk for electrical energy workers. When using gasoline- and diesel-powered portable generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the “off” position before starting the generator.

For more tips and information on backup generators and what to do in times of disaster, see “Follow Five Safety Tips When Using Backup Generators After a Disaster,” available to subscribers here