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Electrical generators can pose a threat in floods

Residents, workers and volunteers are urged to be super vigilant when using generators following floods.

Electrical Safety Office Executive Director Peter Lamont said users should be aware that generators can cause fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and electrocution if used incorrectly.

“Residents and workers in flood-affected areas should be extra careful when using generators to provide power to homes impacted by floods” Mr Lamont said.

“If you’re using a generator to power your home, it must be connected via a change-over switch installed by a licensed electrical contractor, otherwise power from your generator could energise powerlines nearby, causing an electric shock to anyone coming into contact.

“It would be a tragedy if lives were lost due to a lack of electrical safety awareness”.

Mr Lamont said those using electrical generators needed to be diligent and follow the manufacturer’s instructions or seek expert advice if in doubt.

“If you’re using a portable generator, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and only use it to power essential equipment, such as fridges.

“Keep your cables or leads protected from water and don’t exceed the generator's load rating.”

“The Electrical Safety Office advises that generators should only be run outdoors or in a well ventilated area. You should turn it off to refuel it, and it should be fitted with a safety switch.

More information: Ergon Energy on 13 10 46, Energex on 13 12 53, the Electrical Safety Office on 1300 650 662.

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Last reviewed
3 February 2012
Last updated
5 November 2015
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