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Fire Department advises caution for generator users

Although personal generators can help keep essential home systems running, the recent run of severe weather has resulted in extensive power outages and downed power lines throughout Kansas City.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning from Monday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. until Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. According to the Winter Storm Warning, there is potential for 6-12 inches of snow accumulation with locally even higher amounts possible.

Snow in excess of seven inches has fallen in some parts of Kansas City. This has resulted in downed power lines and power outages. If you decide to use a portable generator to run lights, a refrigerator, sump pump, furnace blower or other essential items until your power is back on, remember to:

    Carefully follow all manufacturers' instructions for installation and operation.

    Always operate generators outdoors to avoid the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide fumes.

    Never connect to your home's main electrical panel or plug it directly into a household outlet.

    Home appliances not permanently wired to the electrical system can be powered directly from the generator through a heavy-duty UL rated extension cord (less than 100 ft. to prevent power loss and overheating).

    Your best option is to have a qualified electrician install a special safety transfer switch required by the National Electric Code. The switch prevents the generator from back-feeding electricity into the power lines and possibly causing injury or death to unsuspecting workers trying to restore power.

    Stand in a dry place and have dry hands when operating a generator.

Reminder: Call toll-free 1-888-LIGHTKC (1-888-544-4852) to report outages, flickering lights, lines down or other damage-related problems.


City News Releases - 2013

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