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Important information about using generators

Generators can be dangerous when used incorrectly

Many people have portable generators to provide a back-up power supply for lighting, refrigerators and other essential appliances during power outages. To ensure you and your family’s safety, and avoid damage to your property, it is important to choose a generator that provides enough power for your needs and to use it carefully.

When purchasing a generator, Horizon Power recommends you select one that is capable of providing more power than you will need to supply your essential appliances. If your appliances try to draw more power than your generator produces, both the generator and appliances may be damaged.

Do not connect a generator to the electrical wiring of your home or office unless a licensed electrical contractor has installed an isolating switch. It is a legal requirement in Western Australia that all electrical work be undertaken by licensed tradespeople.

You can plug an appliance directly into a portable generator but make sure you read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid a dangerous malfunction.

Petrol and diesel generators should be operated outdoors and well away from open windows as they produce harmful fumes.

If you feel weak or dizzy while using a generator, move away from the area and find fresh air immediately. You may not be able to smell or see exhaust fumes but they can cause serious harm, even death, very quickly

To be safe

  • Keep the generator on a dry surface. Do not allow it to get wet or use it in wet conditions.
  • Do not operate the generator with wet hands.
  • Do not operate the generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed space.
  • Never plug a generator into wall outlet as this creates a high risk of electric shock or electrocution, not only on your property but also for neighbours using the same utility transformer.

When refueling a generator

  • Make sure the generator is switched off and has cooled down before refuelling as it can ignite if fuel is spilled on hot engine parts.
  • Only use the type of fuel recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Store generator fuel in an approved safety container and well away from fuel-burning appliances such as hot water heaters to avoid leaked fumes igniting.