How Far From The House Should a Generator Be Placed?

How Far From The House Should a Generator Be Placed

Generators are a necessity in today’s age, where every appliance is dependent on electricity. But, the same generator could be an excellent risk to your safety if it is not placed at a safe distance from your house. We all know that generators are meant to be kept outdoors, but how far from the house should a generator be placed?

The generator should be placed at a distance of a minimum of 1.5 feet (18 inches) from the house and 60 inches away from doors and windows. However, it is highly recommended by experts to ideally place the generator 20 feet away from the residence if possible. The distance depends mainly upon the local building regulations, area, and type of generator.

Safe Distance of a Generator from a House

How Far From The House Should a Generator Be Placed

A safe distance from a generator depends upon the type of generator and its size because bigger ones emit more harmful gases. Municipalities mainly require a critical distance of 10 inches from your house. But, it is highly recommended to have a distance of at least 20 inches to reduce the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you have a huge yard and enough space at your place, make sure to not compromise your safety, and instead of placing your generator at 20 inches, place it at a distance of 20 feet just to be on the safe side.

It is important to check the codes of your building or area before getting a generator to know about the protocols and a safe distance. If a generator is a little too close to your house, the carbon monoxide gas can fill your house and can cause severe issues with breathing and suffocation.

Maintaining a safe distance from a generator is important mainly because it emits carbon monoxide, which is very harmful to our lungs. The rate at which a generator emits carbon monoxide is even higher than that of cars because generators do not have proper controls.

If you want to know the safe distance of your generator, just know the type of generator you have and the factors that might affect the distancing. So, let’s look into the type of generators and their recommended distance from the house.

We Will Also Recommend Consulting a professional.

Related: What Size Generator For House?

Types of Generators and their Safe Distance from the House

There are different kinds of generators, and their recommendations for your house are also pretty different. Let’s look into the two types of generators:

Standby Generators

Stand-by generators are relatively expensive, but they are a lot safer. Once the power of your house goes off, a standby generator turns on automatically, and you don’t have to go through the hassle of starting it every time.

A standby generator does not emit any harmful gases, but you still need to be cautious, so it is recommended to keep it 18 inches away from your house.

Portable Generators

Portable generators are not a very sustainable option, and they emit quite a lot of carbon monoxide. These generators are easy to carry, making you think you can place them anywhere near the house, but they should be as far away from your house as possible.

The minimum distance should be about 20 inches from a portable generator to your house, and make sure that the emission from the generator does not enter your house through the door or windows because that could result in severe poisoning and could damage your respiratory tract in the long run.

How to Ensure Safety from a Generator’s Emission?

The emission from a generator could even be deadly, so you need to be extra cautious to ensure safety and make sure to follow all the protocols for the right placement of your generator.

There are things in the market like CO safety which is a tool that is attached to your generator and in your house that immediately identifies if the levels of carbon monoxide are too high. The CO device attached to your generator will automatically shut it down if the gas levels go higher than usual to ensure safety.

You should also be extra cautious and look for signs if the generator is placed near your house because it could possibly cause gas poisoning. There are specific symptoms to look for in carbon monoxide poisoning, and they are:

  • Blurred vision
  • Unconsciousness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting

Also, if you haven’t chosen a generator yet, make sure to go for the one that does not emit a lot of CO gas to start with. It will be safer, and you would not have to worry about how far from the house should a generator be placed.

Things to Consider Before Placing a Generator

There are a lot of factors that affect the placement of your generator, and it is important to look into all of them so you can make a conscious decision. Let’s get right into it.

Size of Your House

If the size of your house is small, that means you would have to keep the generator in the backyard or at a distance that is not safe at all. It could even be dangerous for your neighbors, and the heat from the generator could be overwhelming too.

You keep the generator at the side or rear of your house, but it should at least be five inches away from the lot line. Ensure to measure the distance from all the lot directions before placing the generator to not break any regulations.

Air Quality Regulations

If you have a standby generator, you would need a permit to use it in certain areas. The permit is given only when you will follow all the air quality regulations and would make sure to minimize the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

There are certain regulations regarding the air quality, too, so make sure to go through the regulations of your area to avoid any inconvenience. Generators are a reason for air pollution, so the regulations regarding them are pretty strict too.

Building Code

Generators make a lot of noise that could disrupt the life of your neighbors, which is why local building codes come into place. Before you place your generator, make sure to go through the building code of your area because they are made according to the weather, soil, and needs of your respective residency.

Instructions by Manufacturer

Every generator is different, and how far from the house should a generator be placed is also different for each generator. You can figure out the required distance of your generator simply by reading the manual that comes with it.

The manual usually includes the minimum distance of the generator from your house and recommended places where keeping the generator is considered comparatively safer. If you are not following proper instructions, it would make your warranty and insurance null and void.

Also Read: Generator is Surging – Causes and Fixes


A generator placed at an unsafe distance could be very dangerous, which is why it is really important that you make a well-aware decision. The noise and air pollution from the generator could make things unbearable for you, so it is better to follow all the things we have stated above to ensure the safety of your loved ones and the people living around you.

Most of the time, people do not put a lot of thought into the placement of their generator and put it anywhere they want, but with this guide, you know all about how far from the house should a generator be placed? So, make sure to be mindful of the placement of your generator and do not take this matter for granted. uses affiliate links (No Additional Cost For You). As an Amazon Associate, I earn when you purchase Using My Affiliate Link. Learn more.


Hi, Welcome to; My name is Shahzad, and I know about generators because I grew up in a country where power outage is very common. I share Tips, How-To, News, and Reviews for the best generators or anything related to generators.

Recent Posts