Generator Safety

Our emergency line is available 24 hours a day.

(888) 467-2669 (Montana)

(800) 245-6977 (South Dakota/Nebraska)

If you smell natural gas, call 911.

How to safely use a generator

Emergency generator

How to safely use a generator

Portable generators can be useful during a power outage. However, it’s crucial that they are used safely.

Please keep the following safety tips in mind when using a portable generator:

  • Have a licensed electrician perform the wiring needed to connect the generator to your internal electric circuits. This typically will include installation of a “switch” or control feature that will accommodate disconnecting your residence (electrically) from the NorthWestern Energy distribution system while your generator is in use.
  • Proper installation will protect your internal wiring, the generator, and provide the safest environment for all involved, including linemen working to restore power during an outage.
  • Do not connect the output of your generator directly to your house wiring or service panel! This can create electrical back feed to the NorthWestern Energy distribution system and put field service crews in jeopardy of receiving severe or fatal electric shocks.
  • Read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions very carefully before connecting the generator to any electrical circuits.
  • Plug electrical appliances into the generator using a heavy-duty extension cord.
  • Never run a generator inside your home or an enclosed area. When used in confined spaces, portable generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) within minutes

Protect your family from dangerous CO

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is invisible and odorless, but it can also be deadly.