Portable generators are a great way to power your tailgate, jobsite or home in an emergency. It’s important that you know the right way to operate your generator to keep your family and friends safe from carbon monoxide.

Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless toxic gas that when inhaled, can poison and kill you. The following are common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Always read the owner’s manual first

Make sure you read the operator’s manual before using your generator. Manufacturers will recommend procedures for keeping you and your family safe while the generator is running.

Keep it outside and away from doors and windows

ALWAYS keep your generator outside and at least 20 ft. from your house, garage, enclosed and occupied spaces. It should be far away from doors and windows too.

Point fumes away from nearby people

Keep the exhaust pointed downwind and away from people to minimize the chance of fumes drifting.

Stay alert with carbon monoxide detectors

Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home, and test the battery regularly. Make sure you alarm meets current UL safety standards.

If you feel symptoms, leave right away

If you begin to feel any of the symptoms of carbon monoxide, leave immediately and get fresh air.

For more information about generator safety and the Take It Outside™ Campaign sponsored by the PGMA, visit www.takeyourgeneratoroutside.com.

Download Fact Sheet

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Portable generators are a great way to power your tailgate, jobsite or home in an emergency. It’s important that you know the right way to operate your generator to keep your family and friends safe from carbon monoxide.

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Return to How To Listing

Generator Safety - Take It Outside

Portable generators are a great way to power your tailgate, jobsite or home in an emergency. It’s important that you know the right way to operate your generator to keep your family and friends safe from carbon monoxide.


Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless toxic gas that when inhaled, can poison and kill you. The following are common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Always read the owner’s manual first

Make sure you read the operator’s manual before using your generator. Manufacturers will recommend procedures for keeping you and your family safe while the generator is running.


Keep it outside and away from doors and windows

ALWAYS keep your generator outside and at least 20 ft. from your house, garage, enclosed and occupied spaces. It should be far away from doors and windows too.


Point fumes away from nearby people

Keep the exhaust pointed downwind and away from people to minimize the chance of fumes drifting.


Stay alert with carbon monoxide detectors

Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home, and test the battery regularly. Make sure you alarm meets current UL safety standards.


If you feel symptoms, leave right away

If you begin to feel any of the symptoms of carbon monoxide, leave immediately and get fresh air.

For more information about generator safety and the Take It Outside™ Campaign sponsored by the PGMA, visit www.takeyourgeneratoroutside.com.

Download Fact Sheet