Backup Power

Portable Standby Generators

Important Information from the Electrical Safety Authority

The Power of Portable Generators

Portable standby generators are fuel driven devices designed to produce electrical energy. These devices are used to power electrical equipment and appliances and are not intended to meet all the electrical requirements of a home or business. Portable standby generators should not be directly connected into a home wiring system without safety precautions being taken.

Before installing any type of standby or distributed generation, whether it is stand-alone or connected to the grid, it is very important to understand the safety requirements. Careful purchase decisions, proper installation and diligent inspection are essential to make the portable generator safe for owners, their families, neighbours and others including utility personnel who may be working on the hydro lines.

If You are Considering a Generator

  • Clearly understand your electricity requirements to ensure the unit is the correct size and voltage for your application
  • Purchase the appropriate generator accessories including:
    • an approved transfer device
    • a properly sized connection cord and plugs
    • Note: some manufacturers offer complete generator packages
  • Buy from a reputable distributor.
  • Hire a licensed and knowledgeable electrical contractor to install the unit
  • Be sure to have the installation inspected by the Electrical Safety Authority

A Safety Check List

  • Research your purchase carefully; consult a licensed and knowledgeable electrical contractor
  • Ensure all components of the generator carry approved labels
  • Check to be sure you have the following components in addition to the generator itself: a transfer device or panel and proper connection cords and receptacles
  • Retain the services of a licensed and knowledgeable contractor to install your unit. Ask about measure you should take to ensure proper grounding and bonding of the unit
  • Read and follow the instructions in your owner’s manual
  • Remember, the generator is a fuel driven device that requires proper ventilation to guard against carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Remember, the generator is a fuel driven device that requires proper ventilation to guard against carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Contact the Electrical Safety Authority for further information on portable generators and to arrange for an inspection of the installation

For more information on standby generators, click here to access the Electrical Safety Authority.