GVEA talks about backup generator safety

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Fairbanksians are aware that the power can go out at any given moment. Many residents have generators to provide power while the lines are being repaired.

GVEA lineman James Moore explains different ways to switch from Golden Valley power to a generator. (John Dougherty/KTVF)

"There is a myriad of generators available to hook up to their home,” said GVEA lineman James Moore. “And we have put on a display of different examples of connecting that generator to your home, [including] a whole house configuration. In each example we can transfer from Golden Valley power to generator power and we can plug it into our generator.”

Moore said that it is important to make sure you break the connection to GVEA before plugging in your generator.

"We want you to break the connection to Golden Valley before you make up your generator or standby power connection to your home. That way you are just taking your alternate source and powering your up home, and not feeding up to the line that our Golden Valley crews are working on to get back to normal," Moore said.

If the generator feeds the line it could injure the crews working on the other side.

He says there are a variety of systems that use different size generators to run various functions in the house -- everything from a large generator that will run the entire house to a small suitcase type generator that will just run the boiler.

Moore said the system you use is up to you. "Each individual has to identify what they want for this emergency. When it's cold out a lot of people would rather just have power -- so in this example a little generator can power up your boiler and you have heat and you are comfortable," said Moore.

Moore said to make sure you practice switching power sources so you can do it when the power really does shut off.

He also reminds people to run their generators outside so fumes don't get into the house.

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