WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is issuing a warning to consumers confronted with ice storms and severe winter weather. When there's a power outage, exercise caution when using portable generators.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible killer. You can't see or smell it. A generator's exhaust contains poisonous CO which can kill you in a matter of minutes.
Last year, at least 65 people died from generator-related CO poisoning. Many of the deaths occurred after winter storms knocked out power.
Follow these important generator safety tips:
Last year, CPSC mandated a new danger label on generators manufactured after May 14, 2007. The label states that, "Using a generator indoors CAN KILL YOU IN MINUTES."
CPSC has additional rulemaking underway on generators. The Commission directed staff to investigate various strategies to reduce consumers' exposure to CO and to enable and encourage them to use generators outdoors only. Those strategies include generator engines with substantially reduced CO emissions, interlocking or automatic shutoff devices, weatherization requirements, theft deterrence and noise reduction.
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