PDT Staff Writer
Many area residents who are going through a prolonged period without electric power have turned to the use of gasoline powered portable generators, some for the first time, and authorities are warning that precautions should be taken when utilizing the alternative energy supply.
AEP Ohio is asking people using portable generators to contact them at 1-800-672-2231 to report their generator before usage to avoid a possible disaster or death.
AEP says generators can cause backfeed on the electric distribution system, which can cause serious injury to line crews working to restore electric service. AEP officials said notifying AEP Ohio protects residents using the generator as well as their line workers as they work to restore power.
AEP advises a portable generator provides electricity to specific equipment, such as appliances, during utility power outages. This equipment typically plugs directly into the generator. Portable generators can be useful when temporary or remote electric power is needed, but also can be hazardous if they aren’t isolated properly. To properly isolate portable generators, be careful you never connect it to an electrical outlet. Instead, appliances should be connected directly to the generator.
Meanwhile, the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office is reporting thefts of portable generators after Friday’s storm. A 5,500 watt portable generator valued at $800 was stolen from 3545 Mackletree Rd. in Blue Creek, and an 8,000 watt generator valued at $1,500 was stolen from 1474 Gallia Pike in Franklin Furnace.
For more information and tips for safe generator use, you can visit the Outage and Safety tab on aepohio.com.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.