Severe Ice Storm Powers Down The Southeast

Dangerous winter conditions and outages call for safe use of backup generators

Feb 12, 2014, 16:01 ET from Generac

WAUKESHA, Wis., Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- If you have a backup generator and you live in the Southeast, you're going to need it. The National Weather Service warned residents in the Southeast that they should be prepared for power outages lasting days. The outages are a direct result of today's ice storm that is crippling the region.

Tens of thousands of customers across the Southeast are already without power and as homeowners and businesses power up their generators, proper generator safety is critical. Generac's preparedness expert, Art Aiello, is available immediately via phone or satellite to talk about:

  • How to safely operate a portable generator during an outage
  • What homeowners can do to keep their families safe during the storm and resulting outages
  • How to avoid future outages

Generac also offers the following generator safety tips:

Operate your Generac generator safely and avoid these risks:

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. CO is a common industrial hazard resulting from the incomplete burning of natural gas and any other material containing carbon such as gasoline, kerosene, oil, propane, coal, or wood.

  • Never operate a portable generator indoors, in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.
  • Always use generators outdoors, a safe distance away from doors, windows and vents.

Fires are a danger when you improperly use a generator power source or deal with fuel.

  • Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for safe generator operation.
  • Practice fire safety with generators by not blocking exhausts and intakes.
  • Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
  • Always store fuel outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass containers away from any fuel-burning appliance.

Electrical Hazards can also occur if you use your generator improperly. NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet to provide emergency power to your home. This practice, known as backfeeding, creates an electrocution risk to utility workers and others served by the same utility transformer and is a violation of national electric codes.

  • Keep the generator dry, and dry your hands before touching the generator.
  • Operate the generator on a dry, flat surface. 
  • Use heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cords that are in good repair and free of cuts or tears. Follow manufacturer guidelines regarding maximum length of the extension cords to avoid damage to the cord, your appliances, or your generator.

For additional information regarding preparedness and storm safety, please visit Generac's online preparedness resource, found here.

About Generac
Since 1959, Generac has been a leading designer and manufacturer of a wide range of generators and other engine-powered products. As a leader in power equipment serving residential, light commercial, industrial and construction markets, Generac's products are available through a broad network of independent dealers, retailers, wholesalers and equipment rental companies. The company markets and distributes its products primarily under its Generac and Magnum brand names. Generac is committed to developing a long-term vision that promotes environmentally responsible products, processes and partnerships and strives to be a positive contributor of sustainable growth in the power equipment industry. For more information on Generac, please visit Follow Generac on Twitter @generacpowersys. Become a fan on Facebook at For more information on Magnum, please visit


SOURCE Generac

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