Generator Safety

Even a small generator can kill or injure a person repairing service lines when the electricity you generate back feeds through your service entrance panel to the outside utility lines.

If Barton County Electric Cooperative (BCEC) line crews are restoring power to your home while your generator is connected to the incoming utility service you could start a fire or seriously injure or kill someone.

Generator Safety Tips

Take Care When Using Your Generator

Know your generator! Read all the information on installation, safety, and maintenance, and follow the instructions regarding maintenance and testing.

The easiest safe way to temporarily connect a portable generator to a refrigerator or other small appliance is to simply run an extension cord of adequate size between the generator and the appliance. Above all, do not try to use a "cheater" or modified extension cord to plug a generator directly into a wall receptacle.

To directly connect a generator to your main electrical supply so that it can power the whole house requires installing a double-pole, double-throw transfer switch. BCEC will install a transfer switch at no charge. For more information about transfer switch as far as proper size, pricing, or to schedule an install please call us at (417) 682-5636.

Location is Important

Provide adequate ventilation and air cooling for the generator to prevent overheating and the accumulation of toxic exhaust fumes. Do not install your generator in a basement, attached garage, or any closed area. Exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide, which is an odorless, invisible, poisonous gas.

Portable Generators

Portable electric generators are ideally suited to supply electricity for your refrigerator/freezer and small appliances during an extended power outage, such as from a severe storm.

They are also essential for maintaining power to critical life support equipment. But if they're used improperly they can kill you and the people restoring power. They can also damage the appliances you connect.

Transfer Switch

For stationary generators that are permanently installed, a licensed electrician will need to install a “transfer switch” that complies with the National Electric Code. The switch safely cuts electricity to the power lines and prevents back-feed.

For this reason, BCEC has transfer switches available for sale for our members. We also will install a transfer switch, whether it is bought from us or another vendor at no charge to the member.

Please call BCEC at (417) 682-5636 before you install a generator to ensure safety for yourself and line workers.

Call Us if You Have a Stationary Generator Installed

Please call BCEC at (417) 682-5636 if you currently have a stational generator installed so that our records can be updated-maintaining the safety of our employees.