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.

  • icon
    Choose carefully

    Choose an electric generator that provides enough power for your needs and to use it carefully. 

    We recommend choosing one which can generate more electricity than you will need to supply your essential appliances.

    If your appliances try to draw more power than your generator produces, both your generator and appliances could be damaged. 

  • icon
    Check the instructions

    Make sure you read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid a dangerous malfunction and use your generator safely. 

  • icon
    Take generators outdoors

    Do not operate the generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed space. Only use petrol and diesel generators outdoors and well away from open windows as they produce harmful fumes. 

  • icon
    Keep the generator dry
    • Keep the generator on a dry surface.
    • Do not allow it to get wet or use it in wet conditions. 
    • Do not operate the generator with wet hands. 
  • icon
    Never plug a generator into your wall outlet

    Never plug a generator into wall outlet as this creates a high risk of electric shock or electrocution, not only on your property but also for neighbours using the same utility transformer. 

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. 

Feeling weak or dizzy?

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

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.  

Learn more

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. 
How to safely refuel your generator 
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.

Learn more
Always use a licensed contractor

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

Find out more
Electricity is all around us

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

Find out more

Horizon Power acknowledges the Traditional Custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.

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