Don't take risks with generators

Published: 5 Apr 2017 11:04am

Ergon Energy is warning customers not to connect generators directly to the fixed wiring in their homes or to parts of the electricity network.

A number of incidents have occurred where people have incorrectly used extension cords to plug generators directly into a house’s wiring, putting both the community and Ergon Energy staff at serious risk of electrocution.

Customer Delivery Manager Chester Brodie said customers in Collinsville and The Whitsundays had illegally energised their homes with generators.

“This is potentially a fatal mistake. Plugging a generator into the home’s wiring will send electricity through the switchboard into nearby Ergon Energy powerlines – either on the ground or poles.”

“That poses a significant safety risk to Ergon Energy staff working on powerlines or neighbours cleaning up around fallen powerlines,” Mr Brodie said.

“We understand the frustration of customers who have been without power for many days, but we ask them not to take safety risks and put their own lives and the lives of others at risk.”

“If your home or office wiring has been connected with a generator by a licensed electrical contractor and checked by Ergon Energy that is okay – otherwise don’t do it,“ he said.

Ergon Energy understands customers’ frustrations waiting for power to be restored; however safety is the number one priority when restoring power.

“We urge people using a generator to follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions.

“Generators should never be used inside. This includes inside a garage, carport, crawlspace, or other enclosed or partially enclosed area, even with ventilation”

“We also urge them to make sure they place the generator well away from open windows, doors and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to travel indoors.” Generator safety tips can be found at Ergon Energy’s web site here:

https://www.ergon.com.au/network/safety/home-safety/generator-safety-and-use

Media Contact: John Fowler
Phone: 0417 283 713

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