Since we periodically have discussions on emergency generators here on Breaktime, I thought this might be of interest to some:
Government to Study Generator Safety
Thu Oct 13, 9:43 PM ET
Investigators will look into improving generator safety after misuse of the portable power sources killed at least five people and sickened dozens more after Hurricane Katrina, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday.
Many Katrina victims relied on portable generators after the hurricane knocked out most of the power in the Gulf Region. Portable generators can emit carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can kill or severely poison those inhaling the gas in poorly ventilated areas.
Calling the investigation a priority, CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton in a statement directed his staff to “consider all potential methods for improving portable generator safety,” including implementing an automatic cutoff that would shut down a generator when CO levels reach certain levels; assessing the sufficiency of current product warning labels addressing CO dangers; requiring manufacturers to develop products with lower CO emissions; and creating a public safety campaign with other federal agencies.
The five deaths were among fifty-one cases of carbon monoxide poisoning reported in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama after the hurricane, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All of these cases involved the misuse of portable generators, except for one that involved a gasoline-powered pressure washer. Four deaths occurred in one Louisiana house where a generator was used. The fifth death occurred in a Louisiana house where a generator was used in an attached garage.