12:56pm

Tue July 3, 2012
Energy

Public Service Commission Stresses Safe Generator Use

Portable generates could hum right into the weekend in eastern Kentucky.  Heavy weekend weather knocked out power to thousands of households.  A generator may be a short term source of electricity, but, Andrew Melynykovych of the State Public Service Commission warns improper use can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.  “Don’t put it in your basement, don’t put it on a patio, don’t put it in your garage.  Just have it well away from any place where those fumes which contain carbon monoxide can get into a confined space and create a problem for whoever is in that place,” said Melnykovych.

Melnykovych warns such generators should never be connected to a home’s wiring, unless the structure has a transfer switch.  Without it, he says line workers could be electrocuted.

“When it gets to the transformer, instead of being stepped down in voltage, as the transformer normally does when electricity is coming into the house, it steps it back up and puts it back out onto the system where there may be people working to restore the power.  They’re unaware that the line’s been energized by somebody and it poses a real danger to the people who are working to get the power back on,” added Melynkovych.

More than 40-thousand Kentuckians were without power Monday.  Melynykovych says that number has been trimmed down by half, but it could be the weekend before power is restored to all households