Portable generators must always be operated outdoors a safe distance away from windows and doors to keep carbon monoxide from entering the home. They should never be operated in an enclosed space, like a garage, even with ventilation. Portable generators should be placed on a level surface free of snow, with the exhaust pointing away from the home. They should never be operated on a combustible surface, like a wooden deck. All extension cords should be rated for outdoor use and in good repair. Before refueling the generator, it’s recommended that the unit be shut down and allowed to cool.
Automatic backup generators should have snow kept clear at least 3 feet on all sides to ensure adequate ventilation and to keep snow from entering the enclosure.