portable generator

3 Locations Where You Should Never Run a Portable Generator

While portable generators offer a level of convenience in power outages, it is vital to know the issues that come along with them. In 2019, there was a spike in deaths after horrible storms. The cause: people had been running portable generators in unsafe locations and died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

This blog post will explore what carbon monoxide (CO) is and how it affects the human body. Furthermore, it will identify the locations in which you should not run your generator. We will also point out where you can safely use your portable generators without risk of poisoning.


One of the reasons that CO is terrifying is the fact that it is entirely invisible and odorless. We cannot see, smell, or hear this gas in our homes. Thousands of people are impacted by CO in the house without even realizing it.

What is even more surprising is that much of the CO in our homes comes from things we use routinely. Gas and oil furnaces and charcoal grills are capable of producing this poisonous gas. Furthermore, portable generators, which are helpful, have also been known to poison those that use them unsafely.

The risk of CO in your home is the cost of your and your family’s life. It is vital to know the safety precautions and locations where you should NOT run your portable generator.


Now that you know the dangers of carbon monoxide, we’ll explain where you should never run your portable generator. When running, portable generators emit CO directly, and this can be a recipe for disaster when considering at-home use.


First and foremost, generators should NEVER run inside of your home. Even if you open windows and run fans, you will not produce enough ventilation. Placing it in a room at the opposite end of your home will also do no good, as CO will make its way across your home. Running a portable generator indoors for even minutes can lead to deadly results.


Many of the tools we use in our home reside inside of our garage. Some may assume that portable generators are just another tool used inside the garage. They are partially outside, and opening the doors provides ventilation. However, this is not enough. Even in garages, portable generators can kill within minutes.

Near Your Home’s Openings

Well, if you can’t use your generator in your home and garage, then it must be okay in the backyard? Assumptions can be deadly. If you do not have ample outdoor space, your generator may not be a safe location. Consider any nearby windows, doors, crawl spaces, and vents. You want to make sure that there is open space for the gas to disperse.


Taking the factors above into account, you can see where portable generators are safe: in open, outdoor, well-ventilated areas. Make sure to contact a professional to help figure out where you can place your generator. Open spaces away from your home and any windows, vents, and doors are the safest places to have your portable generator.

If you would like a backup power option for your home without the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, you may want to consider a whole-home or a standby generator.


Whole-home generators are a permanent addition to your home. They do not move, cost more up front, and often need propane or natural gas connections. These generators offer backup power for your whole house. These types of generators are typically a safer alternative to portable options.

Whole-home backup generators offer the following benefits over a portable generator:

  • More power than portable
  • Consistent power
  • Make less noise than portable
  • More convenient than portable
  • Safer and more stable than portable
  • Immediately kicks in automatically after power outage

If you are considering installing a generator in your Columbus home, give My Electric Works a call at (614) 515-4520, or visit our website to learn more about our generator repair and installation services.