Generator Safety

Whether you have a generator in case of a power outage or for power at a job site, be sure you know how to operate it safely.

Always follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacturer. It's important to operate your generator outdoors and away from doors, windows and vent openings to avoid the dangerous build up of toxic fumes. Make sure it's at least 10 feet from any combustible surface.

Permanently installed and portable generators must not be connected to another power source, such as to Puget Sound Energy's electric system, which can cause backfeed problems. Backfeeding is where electricity from a generator flows into a building's wiring, through our electric meter and the outside transformer, then into PSE's power lines. This poses a potentially fatal shock hazard to our line workers.

  • Only a qualified professional, such as a licensed electric contractor, should install a permanent standby generator to your home or building via a correctly and legally installed transfer switch. When installation is complete, call PSE at 1-888-225-5773 to let us know about your back-up system.
  • When using portable generators, make sure to connect lights and appliances directly to the generator or a heavy duty outdoor-rated extension cord.

If you have additional generator safety questions, call us at 1-888-225-5773. If you would like PSE's assistance with selecting or installing a generator, please call a PSE Energy Advisor at
1-800-562-1482.