According to Consumer Report Data, more than 900 people died of carbon dioxide poisoning, and from 2005 to 2017, thousands were injured while using portable generators. Thus, if you have a generator at home, you should ask this question – how far should my generator be from my house?
How Far Should My Generator Be From My House?
Generally, a portable generator should be placed at least 20 feet away from your home. This will also apply if you have a generator for your RV, If you are using a standby generator, it should be placed at least 5 to 10 feet away.
Now that you already know the answer to the question “how far should my generator be from my house?”, it is now time to know the reason why and learn more safety tips when operating a generator.
Why Place Your Generator At A Safe Distance?
There is a common question people ask when it comes to generator installation – how far should my generator be from my house? Well, portable generators should be placed at least 20 feet away from your home or RV.
So, why is it necessary to place your generator at a safe distance?
Avoid Carbon Monoxide Buildup
The main reason why it is necessary to place your generator 20 feet from home is to avoid the buildup of carbon monoxide.
Generators use fuel to generate power, which helps you operate appliances and electronics during a power outage or emergency. While it helps you by generating enough power, it also produces a lot of carbon monoxide.
The best way to avoid carbon monoxide buildup in your home is to place your generator at a safe distance. Aside from the distance, you also need to make sure that the exhaust pipe is facing away from your home. This is to ensure that the gas will not get back in.
If you decide to put your generator in a generator shelter, make sure that the shelter is well-made, weather-proof, and well-ventilated.
A high level of carbon monoxide is dangerous. So, make sure you store your generator at a safe distance and in a well-ventilated place.
Generator Safety Tips
When operating a generator, safety should always be your main concern. Here are some useful tips to ensure a safe operation:
- Do not run a generator in the rain. Make sure that you keep your generator in a dry and safe place. To shield it from rain, you can also make or buy a waterproof generator shelter or enclosure.
- Turn off the generator when refueling. Also, allow the engine to cool off first before adding fuel. Remember, fuel is highly flammable. Allowing the engine to cool off first will reduce the risks of burns and other damages.
- Store gasoline properly. It is advisable to stock up on extra gasoline because you don’t know when there is a power outage. You will need the fuel to extend the operation time of your generator when needed. However, make sure your store it properly in a cool container and in a well-ventilated place. Do not place the extra gasoline near any potential source of fire or heat.
- Buying a generator that comes with built-in carbon monoxide safety technology is a huge plus. There are generators that have this feature, and when it detects dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, the generator will automatically turn off.
- Install a transfer switch that connects the generator to a circuit panel. It will help prevent the glaring safety risk of using extension cords. This will also prevent overloading.
- Prevent electrical hazards as much as possible. If you don’t have a transfer switch, use the outlets on your generator. If you really need to use extension cords, make sure that you get the heavy-duty type. Also, do not overload the extension by plugging in several devices.
- Do not attempt to back-feed your house by plugging the generator into a wall outlet. This will cause serious damage to your appliances and devices. It will also affect the other establishments or houses served by the same electrical transformer.
To summarize the answer to the question “how far should my generator be from my house?”, generators should be placed at least 20 feet from home and in a well-ventilated and safe location.
Generators are useful, especially during emergencies and natural disasters. However, it can be a reason for serious incidents like death. Thus, make sure to place your generator at a safe distance and follow useful safety tips.