The use of generators has blossomed since Hurricane Maria

Since the passage of Hurricane Maria in September last year, there has been an enormous increase in the use of generators in Dominica since large portions of the island remain without electricity.

However, the Independent Regulatory Commission has issued some guidance and warning in the proper use of such machines, since the electricity they generate can kill.

Francis Paul of the IRC said that proper connections are important when using generators.

“First of all people may have heard DOMLEC sometime asking persons to make sure that they don’t allow stray electricity to get on the grid because it has the effect that if people working on the grid that it could electrocute someone,” he said on Kairi FM’s Healthy People, Health Environs radio program. “So it is important that persons know that when you have a generator you have to connect it properly, that you have a transfer switch or a change-over switch … so that when you when you are not switched to DOMLEC, you switch to your generator.”

He stated that with the use of such switches, there is no connection between DOMLEC lines and the home.

“So it is important that people know that you just don’t connect,” he said.

Paul explained that users should not overload generators, sensitive equipment must be protected and generators must be grounded.

“Sometimes you can connect the generator in a way that it doesn’t pass through your main switch, it doesn’t pass through your protective devices,” he noted. “So you also have to ensure that your generators are grounded.”

He stated that these are some of the safety measures the IRC would like people to observe.

“And that is why it is important that the Commission is aware of these generators, aware whether they are licensed because there may be needs sometimes to send somebody to test, to make sure things are done properly because the Commission has a responsibility to ensure safety because a generator or wires themselves, in terms of electricity, can cause fires,” he said.

Paul also said the IRC is mandated by law to regulate the electricity sector.