Each year, a number of people are injured or even die as a result of accidents that are related to portable generators. The most common of these accidents is linked to carbon monoxide poisoning, which happens mainly when generators are kept in fully or partially included spaces. Other accidents happen because the generators are not set up properly, or because they were not professionally installed. The most worrying thing is that almost all of these accidents are preventable through proper care and attention.

If a generator is not use properly, they can be very dangerous things to property, safety, health and even life. If they have been set up properly, are used the right way and are maintained regularly, however, they can be absolute life savers as well. While there are numerous dangers associated with portable generators, carbon monoxide poisoning is perhaps the most dangerous, and most common issue.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

When a portable generator is running, carbon monoxide (CO) is emitted. This is a highly toxic gas also known as the silent killer. CO is almost undetectable. It has no color and no smell. In the majority of CO poisoning cases, people do not even realize they are being poisoned. They simply fall asleep at some point and die. This is why there are some very important do’s and don’ts when it comes to portable generators and the prevention of CO poisoning.


  • Run your generator indoors, such as in crawlspaces, garages, basements, rooms or other enclosed spaces. These devices are not designed to be used in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces.
  • Place your generator outside next to a window, vent or door or any other opening that is used by animals or people to gain access to a property. It is not true that you prevent CO build up by having sufficient ventilation. In fact, the gas can get through any type of opening into your home, and particularly doors, windows and vents.


  • Learn about the symptoms of CO poisoning and make sure that anyone in your property knows what to look for. Symptoms to be weary of include dizziness, nausea, tiredness and headaches. If anyone experiences these symptoms, medical attention should be sought immediately.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms and check them regularly. These simple, cheap devices have saved many lives. Make sure that they are fully certified and meet all the latest CO safety standards and requirements. Make sure you test the batteries regularly and replace them.
  • Follow all the instructions supplied in terms of setup and installation. If possible, hire someone for a professional installation. If you rent your portable generator, the company should also provide you with full safety instructions, and the set up should be done for you. For more information on generator rentals, please visit HIPOWERSYSTEMS.com.

This information was not made to scare you into avoiding portable generators. They are incredibly useful devices when used properly. It is important, however, to be aware of the inherent dangers so that you can take steps to avoid them.