Portable Generators

How big a problem is carbon monoxide associated with the use of generators?

From 1999-2009, 542 carbon monoxide deaths associated with portable generators were reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

More than 80 percent of carbon monoxide deaths related to portable generators occurred in the home, often resulting from the operation of a portable generator within the living space of the home, including the basement, closets, and doorways.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that is created when common fuels such as natural gas, oil, wood, or coal burn incompletely. This odorless, colorless, tasteless gas is often called the “silent killer” because it is virtually undetectable without the use of detection technology like a CO alarm. Extremely high levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal within minutes.

How far away from the house is a safe distance to place my generator?

Preliminary research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) indicates that even 15 feet from the home is too close to operate a generator safely.

Remember your neighbors, too. Keep your generator a safe distance away from their homes as well.