How Far Away Do Generators Need To Be?

Portable generators are a great tool in case of emergencies. I don’t care where you live in the country. You could be up in Michigan facing a raging blizzard, or perhaps in the Carolina’s facing yet another hurricane, or maybe you are in tornado alley and a runaway storm brought the power lines down all around your town. Whatever the situation is a portable generator will give you that much needed power in some of the most dire of circumstances.

While these systems are great they can also be very dangerous. Each year dozens of people end up becoming seriously ill or even die from using portable generators. This is due to the carbon monoxide that a generator emits. Remember, a generator has an engine and engines produce exhaust. Think of generators like your car. Would you leave your car running in the garage with the garage door down? No, certainty not. You would begin to feel the effects of the carbon monoxide right away. The same can be said with generators.

If you are in a situation where your power goes out and you need to get your generator out be sure to follow these guidelines to keep you and your family safe:

To Do:

  1. The generator should be run outside of the building you are aiming to power.
  2. The generator should be at least fifteen feet away from the building. Some people recommend twenty feet, but use your best judgement here.
  3. The generator’s exhaust should be pointed AWAY from your home, garage, or whatever building you are trying to cool.
  4. When using a generator ensure that you have the carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home and that their batteries are up to date. In my family we have three to four portable monoxide detectors in each room to ensure that there are no accidents.


  1. Do NOT run a generator in your basement.
  2. Do NOT run a generator in your closet.
  3. Do NOT run a generator in your garage.
  4. Do NOT run a generator inside your home with the windows open. The air flow from the windows is NOT enough to negate the carbon monoxide flooding your home.

If you follow the above steps then you should enjoy safe operating of your generator. That being said, please note that these are guidelines and advice. ToughAssTools cannot be liable for any injuries or harm that comes from operating generators. The ultimate safety guide is using your head and doing thins the right away! I hope this article was helpful and was also able to prevent any future generator injuries.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson


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