Industry News

Fire safety measures for portable generators from FEMA

USFA safety measures to protect against fire hazards from portable generators
Portable generators are useful when temporary or remote electric power is needed, but they can be hazardous
Portable generators are useful when temporary or remote electric power is needed, but they can be hazardous.

The primary hazards to avoid when using portable generators are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock or electrocution, and fire.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) would like you to know that there are simple steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property resulting from improper use of portable generators.

Safety measures for portable generators

To avoid carbon monoxide hazards:

  • Always use generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents.
  • NEVER use generators in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.
  • Follow manufacturer's instructions.
  • Install battery-operated or plug-in (with battery backup) carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home, following manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test CO alarms often and replace batteries when needed.

As a fire safety measure, always use generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents

To avoid electrical hazards:

  • Keep the generator dry. Operate on a dry surface under an open, canopy- like structure.
  • Dry your hands before touching the generator.
  • Plug appliances directly into generator or use a heavy-duty outdoor- rated extension cord. Make sure en tire extension cord is free of cuts or tears and the plug has all 3 prongs, especially a grounding pin.
  • NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet. This practice, known as backfeeding, can cause an electrocution risk to utility workers and others served by the same utility transformer.
  • If necessary to connect generator to house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install appropriate equipment. Or, your utility company may be able to install an appropriate transfer switch

To avoid fire hazards:

  • Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
  • Always store fuel outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass containers.
  • Store fuel away from any fuel-burning appliance.


Download PDF Version

Other news
Related links
Related news
View all news from

Browse News by

Product CategoryMonthCompany

Special Feature


Expert Commentary, Copyright © Notting Hill Media Limited 2000 - 2016, all rights reserved.
Use of this Website is subject to the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy and Cookie Policy.
Our Other site:, detailed security industry news and analysis US Edition
SourceEN54.EU, guide to voice alarm, public address & fire detection systems.