The Dangers of Running a Portable Generator In Your Garage

Aug 10, 2020

When a powerful storm hits, there’s always a chance for a power outage to occur. Many homeowners opt to use a portable generator as a backup power source. While this equipment can be used safely, fatalities occur every year due to incorrect generator usage, typically in an enclosed or indoor area.

Why Is Using a Portable Generator in a Garage Dangerous?

There are two significant risks associated with using a portable generator in your garage.

1. Electrical Shock

Portable generators put you at risk of getting electrocuted. This is especially true when running extension cords from the unit in wet conditions.

2. Carbon Monoxide Exposure

You should never, ever run a portable generator in an enclosed area. The risk is simply not worth it. An excessive amount of exhaust fumes containing carbon monoxide can seep into your home. Even opening the garage door won’t help. If your family begins to experience flu-like symptoms, this is a tell-tale sign of carbon monoxide poisoning. Prolonged exposure to this dangerous gas can be fatal.

Even positioning a portable generator next to your home can put your household at risk. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, from 2004-2013, there were 526 deaths caused by a generator inside or next to a fixed structure home. Here is a breakdown of some of the deaths by portable generator location:

  • 180 deaths occurred with the generator running in a non-basement living space.

  • 136 deaths occurred with the generator running in the garage.

  • 127 deaths occurred with the generator running in the basement.

  • 15 deaths occurred with the generator running outside, near open windows, doors, or vents.

  • 11 deaths occurred with the generator running in the closet.

  • 3 deaths occurred with the generator running in the doorway to the home.

A Safer Alternative to Portable Generators

Many homeowners choose to invest in a standby generator rather than running the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and electrocution. Standby generators (also called backup generators) kick on automatically when they detect a power outage. They’re durable, weatherproof, and because of how they’re installed, dangerous exhaust fumes are unable to enter your home.

Learn more about standby generators vs. portable generators here.

Standby Generator Installation in Raleigh

CMC Electric is a certified Generac service provider, and we take pride in making the generator installation process easy and quick. We do it all from start to finish, without the need to deal with three or four contractors. Call (919) 694-4454 to learn about your generator options today.

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