Generator Safety

Generator Safety

A storm or high winds can knock out your electric service leaving you without power. A generator will definitely help avoid any loss or inconvenience resulting from an extensive power outage and our staff can assist you with information on purchasing the right generator for your needs. However, unless safely installed a generator can cause serious injury or death to power line workers or to your family due to back-feeding. Improper installation also risks damage to the generator when electrical service is restored.


If the generator is not properly wired into the home there is a danger of back-feeding electricity into Freeborn-Mower Cooperative System's (FMCS) system. This is very dangerous and could result in serious injury or death to anyone coming into contact with electric lines while working to restore power in an emergency.

To properly install a standby generator large enough to power a whole house, a double-throw disconnect is needed to isolate your new temporary power source from the main power lines feeding your home. A double-throw switch must be sized according to the rating of your service entrance equipment. To insure proper installation of a standby generator and compliance with electrical code, please contact a qualified, licensed electrician.



When you use electricity from FMCS's lines, the transformer at your location steps the voltage down from 7,200 to the 120 and 240 volts used in your home. When you run a generator without a double-throw switch installed on your system, you may feed 120 volt current back into the transformer. The transformer then steps the voltage up to 7,200 potentially giving a lethal shock to anyone who contacts a damaged power line that may be lying on the ground. Think of a suddenly energized downed power line and the lineperson repairing it, or a downed power line on a fence and the neighbor's animals brushing against it. Please consider the safety of your neighbors and their children, and have your generator installed by a licensed electrician.


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