How to Secure a Portable Generator from Thieves

It’s fun when it’s a hit summer night, and even when there’s a power outage you have a portable generator to keep you cool. You even have a 10-hour running time generator to make sure you can sleep through the night knowing that you don’t have to refuel until morning.

To have an alternative power supply, people buy a portable generator. It is great for home use, and it is fantastic for camping.

However, its usage comes with a challenge – generator theft. We have heard so many unpleasant stories of generators getting stolen.

Unfortunately, it happens in the United States and in every part of the world. Crime is everywhere. That is why we have given a few tips on how to prevent your portable generator from being stolen.

You must remember that to prevent your property from being stolen, you have to think like a thief. Come up with different ways by which your generator can be stolen and block the ways. Let’s quickly discuss the tips and guides.

But if you don’t know how to secure a portable generator from theft, you may wake up sweaty and find out you no longer have a generator.

Is It Easy to Steal a Generator?

Yes and no. It depends on the size of the generator. Bigger generators are heavy and they will require heavy machinery to lift them. So, such generators are difficult to steal. On the other hand, portable generators are quite handy. They are easy to carry around. So, it is easy to steal such generators.

In fact, the sizes of portable generators make it tempting to steal. That’s why you need to find a way to secure your portable generator at home or in camp. Wherever you’re using it, you must protect it from theft. This is why we have given a few security tips right below.

13 Easy Tips To Secure a Portable Generator:

So what can you do about it? Here are some tips on how to secure your best portable generator so it doesn’t get stolen:

1. Your generator cable should not be too long

We have heard stories of generators being stolen while in use. Does it sound strange to you? This is how it was done. The generator was lifted onto the back of a truck while it was still working. You know that if it stops working, the owner may come and check what the problem was.

So, the vehicle was moved while the generator was still on. After they had moved forward, the cable was disconnected.

By then, the vehicle was already in motion. When the owner came out to check while the generator had stopped working, they had gone very far. It was of no use to chase them.

The operation was very successful because cable plugged to the generator was very long. You understand that some generators are very noisy. Such generators are usually kept several feet away. Don’t let the cable of your generator be too long.

2. Leave dried leaves around your generator

This is another security tip. Leave dried leaves around your generator. You know why? Dried leaves crackle. They make crackling sounds. There’s no way anyone will come near your generator without stepping on some leaves. When you hear leaves crackling, you should suspect that trespassers are around, and you can quickly check around.

3. Secure your compound

A good way to install your generator and other properties is to erect a gated fence around your home. The fence should be under lock and key always.

We understand that criminals can still scale a fence to pick the generator and scale it back, but the fence will discourage many of them. When your generator is left to run on its own without any form of security, it may tempt thieves.

4. Install security cameras with alarm

Don’t forget the old security tip. Install a security gadget that works with cameras and alarm. Once any motion is detected, an alarm will be sounded. When a potential thief hears the alarm, he’ll take off. This security tip still works because thieves don’t like operating in homes where cameras are installed.

5. Store your generator after use

Most generator thefts were carried out when the generator isn’t working. So, immediately you finish using your generator, you may need to store it in a secure location. You don’t know who has been waiting for the right opportunity to steal your generator. Don’t wait until it cools off before you store it. This is the period that thieves strike.

6. Remove its wheels

If your generator has removable wheels, you need to remove the wheels while it is in use. Leaving the wheels will make it easier for people to push or pull it away. When you remove the wheel kit, keep it elsewhere. Don’t just drop it somewhere around the generator. The thief may sight it and smile.

7. Create a house for your generator

Some people created a permanent location for their generator and built a metal house around it. You can follow suit. Do the same.

Make sure that you build a house with very strong steel rods. It should be under lock. Ensure the house is well-ventilated, so whether the generator is in use or not, it will be inside the house.

8. Think of a GPS tracker

Yes, this idea sounds crazy, but stealing someone’s generator is crazier. Put a tracker somewhere around your generator. This may not prevent your portable generator from being stolen, but it will increase your chances of getting it back.

Just use the tracker to locate where it is and call the cops. It is not likely that someone will come from another city to steal a generator. The thieves are usually within your community.

9. Put it out of sight

The more people see your generator, the more they are tempted to steal it. They say out of sight is out of mind. So, you need to place your generator in a hidden location. However, if your generator is noisy, this tip may not work. People can recognize the sound of a generator. That is why we gave the next tip.

10. Choose a silent gen-set

If you have a silent generator and it is hidden, no one will know that you are using a generator. How can anyone steal what they don’t know exists?

Generator noise will not only disturb the user. It will also attract thieves. However, the quieter a portable generator is, the more expensive it will be, with all other features being equal. Nevertheless, the extra cost is worth it. You are paying for security and peace of mind.

11. Chain it while in use

Chain it to a larger and permanent structure. Chaining your gen-set may not deter a determined thief, but it will discourage many others. Thieves usually prey on easy pickings. Chaining it makes it more difficult for them to steal your generator. This tip works best with other security features.

12. Don’t brag about your generator in public

This is a great security tip. When you brag about your generator on social media or in public, thieves may trail you to know your house, and they will come over to steal it when they are sure that you’re not around.

13. Don’t leave it on overnight while in a camp

It is possible to take your portable generator for camping. One mistake people make is to leave it on while they are sleeping. This will prevent you from keeping it in a secure location. Also, when you’re in a deep sleep, you may not wake up immediately the gen stops working. This will give the thieves enough time to disconnect and carry it away before you wake up.

Some Other Tips:

1. Don’t brag about your generator to people you don’t really trust. Word may spread throughout the neighborhood, and they may plan to steal your generator. It’s less likely for your generator to be stolen if no one knows that you own one.

2. When you’re using the generator, you have to put it out of sight of potential thieves. Out of sight, out of mind—you don’t want to give anyone out there any funny ideas. If you put your generator in plain sight, you’re telling everyone you own a generator. In this way the thieves will know about this too.

3. It’s best if you have a gate or a security fence around your property if you’re going to be using a generator. That means even if they know there’s a generator around, the thieves can’t just get into your property to look for it.

4. Put in a home or onsite security systems. These systems are now much more affordable and they do more than protect your generators. The security system can raise an alarm to make thieves think twice.

5. Use chains to secure the generator to a bigger and more permanent structure. It’s like chaining a bike to a lamppost. Secure the chains with a padlock and always keep the key safe. But a professional thief may have tools to break the chains, but in conjunction with the security camera system the thieves may again look for more vulnerable homes.

6. When you’re not using the generator, keep it secure in a locked garage or storage shed. Don’t leave them outside. Once it’s inside the garage, take the extra precaution of covering it with tarp or a sheet.

How Do I Keep My Generator from Getting Stolen While Camping?

There are several ways to keep your generator from getting stolen while camping, and here are some of them.

1. Chain it

It may be a good idea to get a chain and padlock for your generator. So, whenever the generator is in use, you can chain it to a permanent structure like a pole. You’ll now padlock the chain and keep the key. We understand that the padlocks can be broken, but it will take some time and a whole lot of effort to break the padlock.

This will make it less tempting for thieves. The chances are good that you’ll catch them in the act. But if you don’t secure the generator, thieves can easily drop it inside a bag and carry it away.

2. Stay close to it

The real reason why people place their generator far away is to reduce its noise. If your generator isn’t so noisy, you can place it not far away from you. This is necessary because whoever wants to steal it will first turn it off.

If the generator is close by, when it goes off, you should get to it within some seconds, leaving the thieves little to no time to pack it and run away. But if you place it far away from you, they’ll have enough time to switch off the generator, keep it in their bag and run off with it before you get there.

3. Remove its wheels

If your generator is heavy, you might need to remove its wheels to make it difficult for thieves to make away with it. The wheels make generators easy to push around. That’s why you only need to fit the wheels when you’re ready to move the generator. Without the wheels, it may not appeal to thieves to steal your generator.

4. Spread dried leaves around it

Have you ever stepped on dried leaves? Can you relate to the rattling sound they make? Yes, that sound goes very far because it’s loud. If there are dried leaves around your campground, you can place hundreds of the leaves around your generator.

When anyone goes near the generator, he’ll step on the dried leaves and you’ll hear the rattling sound. That way, you’ll understand that someone is going near your property. You’ll quickly go and check.

5. Light up the space

It is also a great idea to light up the surrounding of the generator. Thankfully, generators can power bulbs. If you place your generator in the dark, it may be tempting to go near it. But when the place is well-illuminated, nobody will want to go near.

How Do You Lock a Portable Generator?

There are two ways to lock a generator. You can chain it to a permanent structure and then lock the chain with a padlock. Also, you can build a box around the generators. You’ll place the generator in the box and lock it up. However, you must cement the box to the ground to make it difficult to lift. If not, thieves may carry the box with the generator in it.

Is It Safe to Enclose a Portable Generator?

Yes, you can enclose a portable generator, but you must leave adequate space for airflow. In fact, we recommend a cage made with strong metal. If the enclosure isn’t well-ventilated the generator may get overheated. Also, there may be a buildup of fumes.

Can You Build a Box Around a Generator?

Yes of course, you can build a box around your generator. Measure the dimension of your generator before building a box that’s slightly bigger than the generator. In addition, you must create vents through which air will circulate in and out of the box while the generator is in use.

Final Words

The key to securing your generator is to make them understand that it won’t be easy to steal your generator. It will be too risky for them, which may convince them to rob other people instead. If they do, that’s not your problem—you have your own home to protect!