Skip to main content

CPSC's Groundbreaking Proposed Rule for Portable Generators will Save Thousands of Lives and will Save $1B a Year in Costs

April 05, 2023

Over 1,300 people died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by portable generators between 2004 and 2021 alone. [1]  Another 77,000 people were hurt in that same period.  Worse yet, a quarter of all fatal incidents associated with portable generators involve multiple deaths at once, some involving entire families.[2]

Today, we adopted a proposed solution to virtually eliminate this deadly problem.  The solution to prevent these poisonings is simple: 1) emissions requirements and 2) carbon monoxide detection and shutoff features.  These technologies exist, and by requiring companies to incorporate them, the proposed rule will save over 2,100 lives and prevent over 126,000 injuries over the coming decades.  It will also save the American people over $1 billion dollars per year in costs related to those deaths and injuries.[3]

CPSC staff designed an extremely protective solution by combining the most protective elements from two voluntary standards.  By taking the best of what works, we do right by American consumers. 

If this mandatory rule proposal is finalized, we will have made the determination that portable generators that don’t include reduced emissions, carbon monoxide detection, and automatic shutoff features are too dangerous to exist.  By adopting my amendment to prohibit manufacturers from excessively stockpiling noncompliant generators between the date this rule is finalized and its effective date, the Commission is saving even more lives.  

This is a resounding win for safety, and I hope to see a final rule soon.  


[1] Legal Memorandum: Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Safety Standard for Portable Generators (March 2023) (PDF page 4)

[2]  Briefing Package on Assessment of Portable Generator Voluntary Standards’ Effectiveness in Addressing CO Hazard, and Information on Availability of Compliant Portable Generators (Feb. 2022) (PDF page 2)

[3] Briefing Memo: Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPR): Safety Standard for Portable Generators (March 2023) (OS-8)

Report an unsafe product