Officials urge generator safety

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— Milford officials are urging residents to practice safety when using a generator, especially this one essential, vital act: shut off your home's main breaker.

Generators of all sorts have been getting many local residents through since Friday, when Winter Storm Riley knocked out power to nearly all Pike County residents. At Monday night's borough meeting, officials were warning residents to turn off the main breaker in their homes so that they're not knocked out again when utility workers get the power back on.

Shutting off the main breaker prevents voltage from the generator from going back out the power lines and into the transformer. Instead of getting stepped down to your house voltage, it will get stepped up to the line voltage and knock out your power again, while making previously dead wires live.

Powering a home with a portable generator by connecting it to an appliance or outlet is called backfeeding, which is a very dangerous practice. Connecting a generator to an outlet with a heavy power cord distributes electricity throughout the house but also tries to power all utility lines nearby, causing a grave hazard to others in the neighborhood.

See related story: "Power may be restored Thursday as another storm approaches"

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