Stolen Generator: 7 Theft Prevention Tips

According to the FBI, home thefts in the US happen every 26 seconds and can cost the victim an average of $2,799 in stolen goods. Portable generators may be an accessible item for thieves to grab in a quick heist at your home.

Many home generators are in shelters or sheds robbers can easily open. Protecting your portable or standby generator from a home invasion and theft can be handled by watching a video and following a few home security prevention tips.

How do I keep my generator from being stolen?

1. Install a Home Security System

Estimates show that only 17% of homes have a security system. Burglars are three times more likely to enter a home without a security system but will likely move on if they discover one installed.

Security systems can cost as little as $10 a month and prevent most robbers. Many home systems on the market today can easily be installed by a homeowner, although there are professional systems on the market, as well. Most systems can connect to a cell phone with options for video preview and talk features, so any attempt to break in will alert you.

2. Avoid Social Media

Robbers scan through social media looking for posts about people away from their homes. While you may want to share your adventures, refrain from doing so, and it is an invitation for generator thieves to take their time breaking into your home because they know you are not there.

If you want to share your experiences at the store, restaurant, day-trip, or vacation, save them until you return home.

3. Avoid Mail and Package Deliveries

If you are away for an extended period, have the post office hold your mail and do not order items that could be delivered while you are away. Burglars look for inactivity around a home, open mailboxes to check for mail, and watch for packages left by the door.

4. Use Timers or Virtual Assistance Technology

Many homes now have Virtual Assistance Technology (VAT), such as Amazon’s Alexa, Echo, or Google Home, that can be programmed to turn lights or media on and off at varying times. These actions give the illusion that someone is in the home and can deter burglars.

If you do not have a VAT, simple timers can be set on lights throughout the home and garage to turn on and off while you are away.

5. Update Home Locks

One of the most common entry points of a home or garage is unlocked windows or simple door locks that a burglar can easily open.

Updating locks on the home adds a level of security as modern locks are more difficult for thieves to open. Deadlock bolts offer more security than simple door handle locks. Also, preinstalled locks must be changed as former owners or renters may still have other keys.

6. Maintain the Yard

A poorly kept yard or garden is an invitation to thieves as they can hide in overgrown shrubs or bushes. Keep vegetation around the home pruned. Adding decorative lights around the walkways and yard is also a deterrent.

Ensure the yard is manicured and mowed if you are away for an extended time.

7.  Have Reliable House-Sitters

There are many bonded and insured entrepreneurs serving as house-sitters that can be a source of security if you are away. There are options for 24-hour or regular check-ins to fit your budget.  Having a presence in the home while you are gone can prevent would-be crooks.

Who Are the Robbers?

While these suggestions for securing your home will help avoid break-ins, understand that statistics state 65% of home invasions are by people with whom you are acquainted. They may take advantage of your absence to take items from the garage, yard, or home.

While it may be exciting to share your vacation plans at the office or with friends, maintaining privacy about your time away may help avoid a break-in.

What do I do if my generator gets stolen?

The chance that you will recover the generator may be unlikely. There are several steps to take if you discover that your generator is missing.

  1. Call the police and report the theft. You will need a police report when you file your insurance claim. Have the model and serial number available.
  2. Do not touch anything until the police have checked the area. Law enforcement may collect evidence if the site has not been disturbed.
  3. If you have a home security system, review and save any video that may show the robbers and the time of the theft. The police will want the video for evidence.
  4. Contact your insurance agency to begin processing a claim for the items that have been stolen. You may need proof of the generator’s value. Hopefully, you saved the receipt in your owner’s manual.
Stolen Generator - Theft Prevention Tips


Can someone steal your generator?

Yes – Portable generators are easy targets for thieves, and most thefts occur within 8-10 minutes. A portable generator can be picked up or rolled to an escape vehicle within that time.

The portable generator is easily removed if housed in a shelter or shed outside the home as thieves can easily breach the opening.
Stand-by or home generators are usually larger, encased, and require time to dismantle by thieves.
How do I keep my generator from getting stolen while camping?

While most campgrounds are secure and the general etiquette among campers is to respect each other’s property, there is always an exception.

Thieves want to grab and go, so anything that slows a thief will deter them from taking the item. To protect your generator from theft while camping, secure it with a chain, cable, or alarm. Connect the chain or cord to a hitch, around a tree, or to a heavy stake pounded in the ground.

How do you disguise a generator?

Portable generators stored in a garage can be covered with a tarp or encased in a box to make it more difficult for a thief to access quickly. Small storage sheds or generator shelters may also help hide a portable generator. Portable generator shelters are a great way to enclose your generator as well- just make sure it is locked.

Outside, hide standby generators behind small shrubs or evergreens. 

How do I protect my whole house generator?

Most permanent home generators sit on a concrete pad with connections to fuel and power lines into the house. Most come with a cover thieves find challenging to remove. 

A standby generator installed outside the home will be more difficult for thieves to disassemble quickly for removal. You may disguise the location by planting small evergreens or flowering shrubs.

Typically, portable generators used to power homes are found in a shed or some type of generator sound box. Power cords may be permanently run to the house or are connected as needed. It is good to secure the shed door with a sturdy lock to deter theft.

A generator transported back and forth can be secured using a chain, cable, and lock wherever it is stored.

Do generators have GPS?

It is possible to equip portable generators with GPS tracking devices. The trackers average $255 and can be helpful on multiple levels.

– Trackers have geo-fence technology, which alerts you if the generator moves outside a predefined area.

– A generator tracker can monitor the hours of operation.

– The tracker can send fault reports if the generator fails.

In addition to using a generator tracker at home, it can be beneficial if your generator stays at a worksite for long periods.


Keep your home and equipment secure by taking precautions today to prevent a break-in and theft. There are simple steps to take to reduce the chances of would-be thieves targeting your home. 

About Chad & Rick

Chad and Rick are the father son team behind Generator Hero. Rick is an engineer and manager, he’s used generators his whole life and specializes in fact checking our articles. Chad is a writer and webmaster helping to keep things running smoothly on the site. Read more about Rick and Chad, or send a message using this contact form.

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