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Using a Generator

If you are considering obtaining a generator, get advice from a licensed professional, such as an electrician. Make sure the generator is listed with Underwriter's Laboratories or a similar organization. Some municipalities, Air Quality Districts, or states have "air quality permit" requirements. A licensed electrician will be able to give you more information on these matters.

Always plan to keep the generator outdoors -- never operate it inside, including the basement or garage. Do not hook up a generator directly to your home's wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

Connecting a cord from the generator to a point on the permanent wiring system and backfeeding power to your home is an unsafe method to supply a building during a power outage.

For more information about using generators safely, see the Generator fact sheet.