Having a generator on hand, whether portable or permanent, may sound like a great idea for times when the power goes out, but misusing one is dangerous. Never use a portable generator inside your garage or inside your home. Install your generator with a circuit panel that has a power transfer switch, which monitors incoming voltage from the utility line. The circuit panel and transfer switch should always be installed by a qualified electrician. Never try to power your home by plugging a generator into a wall outlet. This is known as back feeding, and it could electrocute a neighbor or an electric lineman working to restore power. A permanent generator must also have a transfer switch installed by a qualified electrician to avoid back feeding. Because of the harm an incorrectly powered generator can cause, the transfer switch is required by the National Electrical Code. So be prepared, but do so safely!