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Safety tips on using portable generators

If you plan to use a portable generator, here are some important safety precautions from CenterPoint Energy:

  • Locate your generator in a well-ventilated area. Never run it inside, even in your garage. Gasoline-powered generators produce carbon monoxide, and the fumes can be deadly.
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator using heavy duty, properly grounded extension cords. Make sure that extension cords are not frayed or worn.
  • Do not connect your power generator directly to your home's main fuse box or circuit panel.
  • Limit the number of appliances you use to no more than the recommended wattage of the generator.
  • Read all instructions carefully and follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Use the generator only when necessary, and don't overload it. Turn it off at night while you sleep and when you are away from home to avoid a possible fire hazard.

For your safety, the safety of neighbors, and the safety of CenterPoint Energy employees working to restore electricity on our system — do not attempt to connect your generator to your home wiring.

If you have any doubts about how to properly use a portable electric generator, contact the manufacturer or a licensed electrician for assistance.

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