The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is advising Americans of a little-considered danger of hurricane season. The CPSC is noting that some of the dangers of severe weather occur after a storm, and one of the most common dangers after a storm is Carbon Monoxide (CO). In 2005, at least 64 people died from CO poisoning by using portable generators, according to the CPSC.
After a storm or severe weather, many consumers use portable gas generators to power businesses and home appliances when the power goes out in storms. However, these devices can create unacceptable levels of poisonous CO. The CPSC is warning customers that after storms and at any time, these generators should be only used outside. The generators must also be used far from vents, doors, and windows, since these can permit CO to enter the home.
Recent surveys have shown that many consumers have false beliefs about generators. Many believe that generators can be run in basements or garages with good ventilation. This is not the case. Using portable gas generators in these conditions can cause poisoning and death. The CPSC notes that the amount of CO produced by one generator is the equivalent to the amount produced by hundreds of idling vehicles. Even with proper ventilation, this amount can cause injury and death.
The CPSC notes that using one generator indoors can kill an entire family within minutes. Worse, since the gas is odourless and colorless, family members are often unaware of the danger until it is far too late. In 1999, 6% of CO poisoning fatalities were caused by generators. By 2002, that figure had increased to 24%.
The CPSC has demanded that all portable generators imported or manufactured after May 2007 warn customers about CO poisoning. Under the new regulations, generators must have a visible DANGER symbol or label and must contain instructions regarding safe use of the product.
If you or a loved one have suffered personal injury due to a portable gas generator or other product, contact a qualified Florida attorney today. An experienced Florida lawyer can help you launch a products liability suit against any manufactures negligent in creating their product, so that you can get the compensation you are entitled to under the law to help you pay your medical bills and other related expenses.