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CPSC Warns Consumers in Path of Storms to Take Precautions When Using Portable Generators

Release Date: July 24, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is alerting consumers to take precautions in the aftermath of storms.  Consumers need to be especially careful during power outages, as the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and fire increase. 

Here’s how you can keep your family safe.

  • Use portable gas generators safely.  Read the label on your generator and the owner’s manual BEFORE use.

  • If you lose power, use your generator OUTSIDE your house ONLY, at least 20 feet from your home.  

  • NEVER use a generator inside a home, garage or shed.  Carbon monoxide from generators is poisonous and can KILL you in minutes.  CO is called the “invisible killer” because you cannot see it or smell it. 

  • Make sure you have working CO alarms in your home. 

  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms too.  Check the batteries!  

Due to the present health pandemic, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that you may need to adjust any preparedness actions, based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.  

If you must evacuate, the CDC is recommending you have additional items on hand, such as cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, and cleaning products to help prevent the spread of viruses at the shelter.  CPSC is reminding consumers to keep all cleaning products and medications out of reach from children, and keep them in their original child-resistant containers at your evacuation site. 

Be prepared and be safe.

CPSC resources:

Carbon Monoxide Safety Center

Link to NSN poster 

CPSC spokespeople are available for interviews before or after the storm on these and other safety tips.  Contact CPSC’s Office of Communications at 301-504-7908.   

Release Number

About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.

For lifesaving information:

Media Contact

Please use the below phone number for all media requests.

Phone: (301) 504-7908
Spanish: (301) 504-7800

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