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CPSC Provides Life-Saving Safety Tips to Prevent Fires and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

December 27, 2022

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a new warning concerning portable generators. The CPSC is urging the public to be extremely careful with portable generators since these machines can cause home fires and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging consumers to be especially careful when using portable power generators because carbon monoxide poisoning can kill within a few minutes. Carbon monoxide is known as the "invisible killer" because the poisonous gas is both odorless and colorless. People who are exposed to carbon monoxide can become unconscious soon after they begin experiencing CO-poisoning symptoms such as weakness, nausea, or dizziness. Carbon monoxide exposure can also lead to death.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 85 people are killed in the United States every year due to portable generator-related carbon monoxide poisoning. A CPSC report called "Fatal Incidents Associated with Non-Fire Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Engine-Driven Generators and Other Engine-Driven Tools 2011-2021" reported that African Americans are at an significantly increased risk of carbon monoxide death. The report states that African Americans accounted for 23% of all power generator carbon monoxide deaths.  

The CPSC recommends the following life-saving tips:

  • Do not use a portable generator inside your garage, home, garage, basement, or shed. Windows or doors can not provide enough ventilation to stop the toxic buildup of CO.
  • Use portable generators outside and at least 20 feet away from your home.  
  • Make sure that your portable generator(s) have been properly maintained.
  • Read and follow the User Guide instructions and warning labels on the generator.
  • Buy a portable generator that has a CO shut-off safety feature. These models should be certified to the proper safety standards for portable generators, which is PGMA G300-2018, and UL 2201.
  • Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors every month.
  • Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors or buy CO alarms that have a battery backup for each level of your home. Interconnected carbon monoxide alarms are the best option because if one detector alarms, the rest of the alarms on the system will sound.  
  • Be sure that you have smoke alarms installed on each floor and inside all bedrooms. 
  • Be sure to test your smoke and CO alarms each month.
  • Do not ignore a fire or carbon monoxide alarm when it sounds. 
  • If you hear an alarm, leave your home and then call 911.
  • Keep outside vents clear of snow.

Safety Tips for When Using Portable Heaters

  • Make sure your portable heaters are 3 feet or more away from curtains, papers, beds, sofas, clothes, and any other items that could catch on fire.
  • Never use power strips, and always use wall outlets.
  • Do not use heaters near water. 
  • Do not touch heaters with wet hands. 
  • Make sure that your heater is placed on a level, stable surface. 
  • Do not leave a heater turned on and unattended.
  • Unplug your heater if the cord becomes hot, and contact a repair shop.
  • Unplug and contact a certified electrician if your outlet(s) become hot during the use of any appliance.

Important Safety Tips for Candles and Charcoal 

  • Do not use charcoal inside your home. 
  • Do not use charcoal in a garage.
  • Use flashlights instead of using candles. Do not leave burning candles unattended.

If you or a loved one have been hurt or suffered substantial property damage due to a defective heater, contact Montlick Injury Attorneys, for your free consultation today. Our law firm has been representing those who suffer serious harm or lost a loved ones due to dangerous products for over 39 years.  Our trial attorneys have recovered billions of dollars for our personal injury clients through negotiated settlements, litigation/lawsuits, settlement of lawsuits, jury verdicts, mediation, and arbitration awards.

Please visit our Montlick Injury Attorneys reviews to see what our clients have to say about our commitment to exceptional service.

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Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.