COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – After strong winds blew through Ohio on Saturday, tens of thousands Ohioans lost power. As of 5:30 a.m. on Monday over 15,000 AEP customers were still experiencing power-outages.

Many will turn to generators as a resource to keep heat and appliances running in their homes.

American Electric Power cautions that generators, while useful when temporary power is needed, can be hazardous if not properly isolated. AEP says to never connect a generator to an electrical outlet, but rather, connect your appliances directly to the generator into the proper outlet.

As well, AEP offers these generator tips:

  • Never connect the generator’s electrical output to any live home or building electrical circuits.
  • Never plug a generator into a wall outlet.
  • Avoid contact with bare wires and terminals.
  • Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) in any damp or highly conductive area.
  • If you choose to have a transfer switch (permanent connection) installed for a portable generator, contact a licensed electrician.
  • Consult a licensed electrician to choose a generator. This will help ensure proper installation, prevent backfeeding onto the electric system, and make certain it meets national and local electrical code requirements.

For more information on how to be safe around generators, visit AEP’s Safety At Home tips.