Standby electric generators can provide you with an extra sense of security in our unpredictable weather and occasional outages. We understand a generator can be a convenient source of power around your home or business. We ask that for the safety of you and our personnel, the generator be installed and used safely.
To protect yourself and your family, read and follow the safety instructions provided by the manufacturer. Before purchasing a generator, please consider how you’ll be using it. That will help you buy a generator that is sized correctly for the application you need. Then, you’ll need to know how and where to install it properly. Please notify the FEC office at 406-538-3465 if you have a generator installed on your premises. This will be noted on your account for the safety of our lineman in outage situations.
BACKFEEDING – A DANGEROUS CONDITION
Improperly connecting a generator or installing without the proper switch can produce “back feed”. This will produce a dangerous current which can critically injure you or others. Back feed into a power line from a generator can produce enough current to create “hot” power lines. This could severely injure or kill a lineman who expects the lines to be de-energized in an outage situation.
DANGERS OF CARBON MONOXIDE
When using a generator, be sure to locate the generator outside so poisonous carbon monoxide gas is exhausted. Never operate a generator in an enclosed building, especially a building which is attached or part of the home. Make sure it is properly vented and the generator has enough air to operate properly.
Make sure the generator fuel is stored properly. If gasoline or diesel make sure it is stored in approved containers and out of reach of children. Do not refuel when generator is hot or running. Use only fresh fuel or fuel that has been treated to extend its useful life.
OTHER SAFETY REMINDERS
- Always check the unit thoroughly each season before you fire it up.
- Never attempt to repair a generator, only a qualified serviceman should perform repairs.
- Don’t remove or tamper with safety devices; they are there to protect you and your property.
- Many engine parts get very hot during operation; severe burns may result if touched.
- Keep children away from generators at all times.
- Always properly disconnect from your utility service before starting your backup generator.