New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas. Many people have died from CO poisoning because their generator was not adequately ventilated.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector.
- Never use a generator indoors or in enclosed spaces such as garages, crawl spaces, and basements. Open windows and doors may NOT prevent carbon monoxide from building up when a generator is located in an enclosed space.
- Run the generator outside and downwind of structures. Make sure it has 3 to 4 feet of clear space on all sides and above it to ensure adequate ventilation.
- Do not use a generator outdoors if it placed near doors, windows, or vents – these types of openings may allow carbon monoxide to enter and build up in occupied spaces.
- If you or others show symptoms of CO poisoning, e.g., dizziness, headaches, nausea, and/or tiredness, get to fresh air immediately and seek medical attention. Do not re-enter the area until it is determined to be safe by trained and properly equipped personnel.