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Generator Safety

Portable generators emit deadly carbon monoxide (CO) that you can't see or smell. Never put a generator indoors (including a garage, basement or crawlspace), even if you keep doors and windows open. Using a generator outside, but too close to the home, can also be dangerous. 

Put generators at least 7.6 m (25 feet) from your home and point the exhaust away from any open windows, doors and vents to keep CO from getting in.

We encourage you to download and share the English and Spanish-language version of our infographics below and share them with family, friends and coworkers. If you share them on social media, please make sure you tag us!

Text top and bottom. House, trees, bushes on left. 25 feet away from the house, on the right, is a generator with CO coming out of it
Credit: N. Hanacek/NIST
Text at top and bottom. House, trees, bushes on left. On the right, 25 feet away from the house, is a generator.
Credit: N. Hanacek/NIST


Created June 2, 2021