The many benefits of having a generator available during power outages or natural disasters cannot be overlooked. A generator is generally safe when placed in an open space like the lawn, however, there are some situations to avoid, such as running the generator in rain. But when there’s a storm brewing, you can’t leave your generator wide open outside. Well, in that case, is it safe to run a generator in the garage?
The answer is a big NO. It is not recommended to run your generator in the garage since the exhaust from a generator can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can potentially kill you when exposed to high concentrations for more than 5 mins. Once the exhaust fumes enter through your nostril, it will get into the lungs and replace the air and oxygen, wreaking havoc to your body system.
Therefore, if you operate your generator in your garage, ensure the exhaust finds its way out of the garage easily.
- Is It Safe to Run a Generator in the Garage?
- How to Safely Run a Generator in a Garage?
Is It Safe to Run a Generator in the Garage?
It is never safe to run your generator in the garage or basement, especially if it is an enclosed place. The danger of doing so is overwhelming, and research and life experience have proven that it could be life-threatening. Therefore, running your generator in the garage is highly discouraged.
Some of the side effects of using a generator in your garage are as follow:
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is the gas that comes out from the exhaust system of the generator, and it is a deadly fume. Once it gets into your lungs, it will find its way to replace oxygen in your blood, causing some cells to break down and lead to death for some.
If anyone inhales too much of the fume, the person can die in minutes, which you should never use in your garage.
In some cases, generators explode due to mishandling, likely causes being-
- Running a generator out of gas.
- Adding fuel when the generator is working.
- Faulty power cables or generator components.
- Wet and damp floor of the garage.
Here you can read the risks of running a generator with an empty tank or adding fuel when it is running.
If a fire outbreak occurs in your garage, the havoc might worsen as it can escalate to your main apartment. It can get out of control to the point of losing some of your properties.
And that’s why it is safe to always have the generator ideally about 20 feet outside of the house or garage in a separate compartment.
Where to Put a Generator in the Garage?
If your garage is the only place you have in your home to put the generator, then you should look for a section where you can easily direct all the exhaust fumes out of the garage.
The perfect way to ensure this is to get the generator close to the entrance of your garage and face the silencer, where the exhaust comes from, to the outward direction.
Also, you can easily attach an extra pipe to the silencer mouth where the fumes come out and extend it out of the garage to make the atmosphere safe and conducive for you to work.
How to Safely Run a Generator in a Garage?
There are different kinds of generators out there. You can get a Cheap Generator Under 300 Bucks and some above or below that. Whichever you get, if you ever try to use your generator in your garage, you should consider the following.
1. Position the Generator in the Right Way
Depending on the space you have in your garage, you should never place the generator closer to where you intend to work. Apart from the noise that can be unappealing and disturbing, the fumes from the generator can kill within minutes.
Therefore, you should find a place closer to the exit or entrance of your garden where you can easily place the generator so that the fume will escape into the air and not in your garage. If those are not the perfect options for you for any reason, you should create a hole in your garage wall and pass the exhaust pipe through it.
Most people do it that way, and they find it easy to make sure the fumes escape into the atmosphere and not in their garage.
2. Keep All Wiring Secured and Sealed
One of the ways to avoid or lower the chances of getting electrocuted is to have a proper wiring system. You need to ensure that the wire connecting from the generator to your electrical devices is properly linked and that none is naked.
If any wire is naked, you should switch off the gen and get a tape to cover the naked area before you go ahead to switch on the generator again. Also, you should never leave the generator running if it is not in use, especially when you have your kids around.
3. Do Not Add Gas to a Generator when Running
You may get engrossed in your work and don’t want to have a break. But when it comes to adding gas to your generator, you should consider that short break as a safety measure. It is never safe for you to add gas to a generator when it is running.
If by any chance, the gas got to comes in contact with some dangerous parts such as the hot silencer, the generator plugs, and others, it can result in a fire outbreak. The havoc might be more than what you think you can handle and control.
Therefore, it is always a good act to switch off the generator and cool it before adding the gas.
4. Use a CO Detector
Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide or CO detector in your home, especially in the room closest to the garage. In my opinion, a detector with a digital display panel will be the best. Digital CO detectors are easily readable and alert you if the level of carbon monoxide crosses the highest limit. Though you have to replace the battery every once in a while.
Now that you know if it is safe to run a generator in the garage or not, I hope you will take steps according to it. Though, I will tell you this- place the generator in your garden as long as some safety measures are in place. Your greatest threat to life is carbon monoxide, the fume that comes out of the generator, a risk not worth taking.