August 7, 2023

How Far Should a Generator Be From a Window?

With the constant demand for power and the threat of frequent power outages, owning a generator is less of a luxury and more of a necessity these days. However, operating a generator requires you to know and adhere to essential safety tips. One primary guideline involves positioning your generator at the correct distance from windows and doors.

The Safe Distance: 20 Feet Away

Standby and portable generators should always be installed at least 20 feet from a window to protect your household from the deadly threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. CO gas, a byproduct of incomplete combustion, is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and nearly impossible to detect without a CO alarm. Carbon monoxide can kill in just five minutes because it interferes with oxygen delivery in the body.

Placing a power generator too close to open windows and doors allows CO gas to enter your house, creating a dangerous and potentially lethal environment for everyone inside. By keeping your generator 20 feet away from these openings, the gas can dissipate harmlessly in the open air instead of concentrating inside your house.

Other Generator Safety Tips

In addition to maintaining a safe distance from windows and doors, here are some additional tips to ensure generator safety:

  • Install the generator correctly: A professionally installed generator ensures efficient operation and safeguards against operational mishaps. Proper installation involves grounding the generator, hooking up the appropriate fuel, and selecting an optimal location.
  • Use CO detectors: Every home with fuel-burning appliances, including generators, should have CO detectors installed. These devices provide an early warning when harmful levels of carbon monoxide accumulate indoors. Install these alarms in central locations throughout your house and test them regularly.
  • Place the generator in a well-ventilated area: Not only do generators need to be kept away from windows and doors, but they should never be operated inside your garage or other partially enclosed structure, even if the door is wide open.
  • Keep the generator dry: Generators and water are a dangerous combination. Protect your generator from the elements, and don’t touch it with wet hands to avoid damage or electrocution.
  • Turn off the generator before refueling: Generators get very hot while running. If you try to refuel a hot generator, the gasoline could ignite. To avoid this, turn off your generator and let it cool down before refueling.
  • Avoid back-feeding: When connecting your generator to your home circuit, always use a transfer switch to avoid back-feeding. This dangerous practice can cause an electrical overload, damage your appliances, electrify your home wiring, and even harm electrical workers attempting to restore power in your area.

Seidel Electric Inc. is committed to keeping the entire Tri-State Area powered at all times, even during outages. Based in Blairstown, New Jersey, we offer a comprehensive array of generator services, including installation, maintenance, and repair, to ensure reliable backup power for years to come. Plus, as an authorized reseller of Generac generators, we offer the assurance of a market-leading brand. To explore the best generator options for your home, please call us today at (908) 362-6191.