Should Portable Generators Be Left Outside?

can portable generators be left outside

There are several reasons to leave a portable generator outdoors. The first is to protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning. However, even if your generator is in an enclosed area, it’s not a good idea to leave it outdoors for long periods of time. Proper placement is crucial to the safety of your portable generator. There are also safety considerations to consider, including the use of gasoline or kerosene versus kerosene blend.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

There are countless stories of people who suffered serious health consequences from carbon monoxide poisoning when they left portable generators outside. According to the CPSC, nearly 60% of new generators now have sensors to shut them off if carbon monoxide levels become dangerous. Although portable generators are cheap and convenient, it’s still important to use caution. You should never use them indoors. The gas can seep into your living spaces and be fatal. Use a battery-operated or plug-in carbon monoxide alarm and call 911 to report any symptoms. Many manufacturers, including Techtronic, have taken steps to reduce emissions.

When a portable generator is left outside, carbon monoxide concentrations can build up in confined spaces and remain for hours, even after the generator has been turned off. Because carbon monoxide has no odor, color, or taste, people exposed to high levels may experience mild symptoms like headaches that worsen and a feeling of nausea. Children are particularly vulnerable to carbon monoxide concentrations, and they may even pass out from the effects.

Proper placement of a generator

Proper placement of a portable generator is critical for safety and health. Proper placement prevents the generator from emitting dangerous fumes that can be dangerous for humans. Placement should be at least 20 feet away from any building or window. Install a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector near the generator to prevent exposure. The battery-powered detector should be replaced every six months. Depending on the model, you may need to purchase a special mounting kit for it.

When choosing the correct location for your standby generator, consider its weight and size. Small air-cooled models come with attachments. Large liquid-cooled models require a concrete pad. A concrete pad should be at least one and a half times larger than the generator’s footprint. Portable enclosed generators can be moved around to different locations, so the manufacturer recommends that you consult the manufacturer for installation instructions. In general, a concrete pad should be sufficient to support the weight of the unit.

Propane versus gasoline

The best portable generators are dual fuel. They can operate on both gasoline and propane. Propane is cleaner than gasoline and produces half as much carbon monoxide. It also requires less maintenance than gasoline. In addition to producing less CO2, propane also doesn’t leave carbon deposits in the engine or fuel lines. Additionally, a propane generator’s fuel tank requires less maintenance than a gasoline generator. So, in general, a propane generator is the better option for most portable generator needs.

One major benefit of using propane is its shelf life. While gasoline can be stored for a short period of time, propane can be stored for up to 30 years. This means that you don’t need to spend as much money buying stabilizers to maintain the fuel. Additionally, propane is widely available at gas stations and home centers. You can also find it in outdoor stores, BBQ stores, and gas stations. Propane is the better option if you live in an area where there is little or no electricity.

Protection from corrosion

Portable generators should be protected from corrosion by using protective film. This film prevents the metal from becoming damaged by dust, moisture, and pollutants. To use a protective film, the enclosure should be airtight. It should also contain a desiccant or sorbent tailored to the metal. If these measures aren’t enough, a conservator can advise you on the best solution. The final step is to properly store the generator indoors or under cover in a cool, dry place.

If you’re leaving your portable generator outdoors, be sure to consider how it will fare over time. Metals are sensitive to pollutants and RH, so a multilevel preservation approach is essential. Enhanced protection measures such as pollutant filtration can help moderate RH, and localized climate control systems can protect more vulnerable metal objects. The multi-level approach is ideal for the best long-term results.

Safety precautions

When using a portable generator outside, it is important to be aware of the hazards of carbon monoxide (CO). This substance is produced anywhere combustion occurs, including on generators. A malfunctioning generator can also produce higher levels of this poisonous gas. Its symptoms can be similar to those of several other illnesses. If you do not take the proper precautions when using a generator, it may cause severe burns or even death.

To prevent this, you should make sure the generator is secure and does not move around. To prevent this, you can secure the wheels by placing wedges under the tires. The generator should be placed away from pathways, as any accidental bump could cause it to tip over. To prevent this, you should also keep it on a level surface and do not place it on the ground. If you cannot do this, consider buying a Gen Tent.


A portable generator enclosure can be placed outside for several reasons. Some generators can run for long periods of time on grassy surfaces, while others need to remain inside. Ideally, generator enclosures should be installed on concrete, gravel, or patio blocks. Concrete slabs can be reinforced with steel rebar, and patio blocks can provide additional stability. You should also take into consideration the climate in your area, as moisture and extreme temperatures can damage your generator.

When placing a portable generator outside, it is important to keep it out of reach of children and pets. The carbon monoxide that is released by generators is more than 1500 times higher than that produced by modern vehicle engines. This gas is especially dangerous because it can suffocate a person sitting near it, making it a safety hazard. Additionally, CO gas can also choke a generator engine. Battery operated CO detectors are available to help protect against this hazard.