CPSC Chairman Calls for Comprehensive Safety Review of Portable Generators

October 13, 2005
Release Number: 06-006

In light of continuing CO deaths and injuries from the consumer use of portable generators, CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton has directed the staff to undertake a thorough review of portable generator safety. Chairman Stratton has called upon the staff to consider:

- Feasibility of safety cut-offs that would shut down a generator before CO reaches unsafe levels;

- Sufficiency of warning labels to address the danger of CO poisoning associated with portable generators used within or near residences;

- Development of performance requirements that would substantially reduce CO emissions;

- Feasibility of weatherization of generators (including use of ground fault circuit interrupter protection) for wet and/or cold outdoor environments;

- Creation of an information campaign with partners in other federal agencies (including but not limited to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the private sector (including the American Red Cross and retail/hardware trade associations) to spread the safety message;

- Potential benefits of the creation of a private sector consortium of manufacturers that would cooperatively develop a technical solution that adequately addresses the current CO poisoning hazard.

Chairman Stratton is calling upon the staff to consider all potential methods for improving portable generator safety, while continuing to closely monitor the ongoing efforts to address this issue within the voluntary standards arena.

The staff has been directed to make this comprehensive review a priority and to report their results to the Commission as soon as is feasible.