Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Generators pose fire risks - here’s how to be safe

Generators pose fire risks - here’s how to be safe

Fire and Emergency encourages people in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti to be aware of the fire hazards associated with running a generator.

Hawke’s Bay Community Risk Manager, Nigel Hall says while people may know the risks associated with using generators, they may not be aware of the fire danger risk.

"We have seen a couple of fires caused by generators lately. Things like the generator exhaust being too close to a wall, and people altering the wiring without a licensed electrician - these things cause fires," he says.

Nigel Hall says there are steps you can take to make sure you are being fire safe with your generator.

"If you need to fuel your generator, turn it off and allow it to cool before adding any fuel. Be careful not to spill the fuel on the hot engine.

"If you’re planning to rewire the generator yourself, don’t, and please contact a local licensed electrician to do it for you," he says.

Nigel Hall says it’s important to use your generator in a well ventilated area and away from anything that can catch fire.

"Make sure your generator is in a dry place outside, or in its own well ventilated shelter, at least three metres away from any walls or combustible materials.

"Generators produce a lot of carbon monoxide which is poisonous and can be deadly, so generators should never be used inside people’s homes - including the garage.

"We understand our community is going through a really difficult time and it is tough not having electricity, but being cautious around generators will keep you and your family as safe as possible," he says.

Nigel Hall encourages anyone currently using generators at home to make sure their smoke alarms are installed appropriately.

"It’s important to make sure you have a smoke alarm installed in every bedroom, living area and hallway of your house, and to have a 3-step escape plan you have practised and includes a first escape route, a second escape route and a safe meeting place."

Head to and for more information.