Electrical Safety Authority

Electrical Safety Authority

August 16, 2007 13:53 ET

Electrical Safety Issues With Unapproved Portable Generators

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 16, 2007) - The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is receiving an increasing number of consumer calls regarding the availability of unapproved portable generators for purchase over the internet and from various Ontario outlets. Ontario residents purchasing portable generators to use during a power outage are advised to ensure the generator has been approved.

Unapproved generators do not bear the mark of a recognized certification or field evaluation agency, and have not been tested to ensure they meet safety requirements.

ESA's investigation of unapproved portable generators has identified they present the following potential electric shock and fire hazards:

- Receptacles and generator control switches do not match the generator rating.

- Receptacles with inadequate over-current protection.

- Control switches do not shut off the generator.

- Improper bonding of the generator receptacle to the generator frame.

- Lack of bonding between the generator and the generator skid or frame.

- Missing nameplates to identify the generators rated voltage and output.

- Some suppliers are providing double male ended extension cords (two plugs with a length of cord between them) to allow the generator to be plugged directly into a house receptacle. This can cause potential "backfeed" onto powerlines exposing utility workers to electrical hazard. In addition, residents can be exposed to live blades when the cord is plugged into the generator.

The Electrical Safety Authority strongly advises consumers against purchasing unapproved portable generators. In the event an unapproved generator has already been purchased, stop using it and unplug it immediately.

Furthermore, the Electrical Safety Authority has been advised that some portable generators have been marked with counterfeit approval markings. If you suspect that your generator might be counterfeit, or you have identified a hazard from the above list, stop using it immediately and contact the associated certification agency.

Consumers are reminded that under no circumstance can a portable generator be connected to a building's electrical wiring system, except through an approved transfer device that makes it impossible for feedback into the utility network which could endanger the lives of utility workers.

For more information about the safe use of portable generators, to report an unapproved electrical product, or to view the recognized certification agencies and their approval marks visit the Electrical Safety Authority website at www.esasafe.com.

Contact Information

  • Electrical Safety Authority
    Tatjana Dinic
    (905) 712-5364
    Website: www.esasafe.com