Know how to use your generator safely

You might have a portable generator to provide a back-up power supply for lighting, refrigerators and other essential appliances during power outages.

Tips to stay safe with electric generators

To keep your household safe and avoid damage to your property, it’s important to consider the following tips.

Feeling weak or dizzy?

If you ever feel weak or dizzy while using a generator, move away from the area and find fresh air immediately. You may not be able to smell or see exhaust fumes but they can cause serious harm, even death, very quickly. 

Connecting portable generators 

Never connect a generator to the electrical wiring of your home or office unless a licensed electrical contractor has installed an isolating switch. Remember, it’s a legal requirement here in WA that all electrical work be undertaken by licensed tradespeople. 

Before you connect a generator to your home

Make sure of the following:

  • It’s safe for you, the community and our crews.  
  • You will be using it according to the manufacturers’ guidelines.  
  • The cord and generator are within specifications.  
  • A changeover switch is installed and connected legally.  
  • You will be using it in line with Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) directions.   

Before you connect a generator, contact your local electrical contractor or visit the WA Department of Building and Energy’s website for more information.  

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How to safely refuel your generator 

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • Make sure your generator is switched off and has cooled down before refuelling as it can start a fire if fuel is spilled on hot engine parts. 
  • Only use the type of fuel recommended by the manufacturer. 
  • Store your fuel in an approved safety container and well away from fuel-burning appliances such as hot water heaters to avoid leaked fumes igniting. 

Shocks and tingles

You can't always see an electrical fault, but you can feel one.  Always report electric shocks and tingles to us on 13 23 51.

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Always use a licensed contractor

Electricity is dangerous. Don’t risk causing harm to you or your family by doing your own electrical work.

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Electricity is all around us

Read our quick guide on how to take care around electrical infrastructure you can and can't see.

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased people.