If you’re using a generator to help get through winter storms and other extreme weather events, be careful. Home generators have been known to kill people, due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
This NBC and ProPublica report describes a horrifying situation: unaware families killed by carbon monoxide leaking into their homes from the generators. Since carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, it can kill before anyone notices there’s a problem.
According to the article, “The devices can emit as much carbon monoxide as 450 cars, according to federal figures. They kill an average of 70 people in the U.S. each year and injure thousands more, making them one of the most dangerous consumer products on the market.”
What’s worse is that the “federal government identified the danger of portable generators more than two decades ago. But regulations that would force companies to reduce generators’ carbon monoxide emissions and make the machines safer have been stymied under a statutory process that empowers manufacturers to regulate themselves, former government officials and consumer advocates say. That has resulted in limited safety upgrades and continued deaths.” In fact, 17 people were killed and 1,400 were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning after last year’s sudden Texas snowstorms. With the number of weather disasters going up, it’s likely that more people will use them in the future.
What to do if you need to use a generator
If you need to use a generator—whether due to storms, outages and other problems—make sure that you leave it in a well-ventilated area. Follow the manufacturers’ recommendations to the letter.
Most importantly, consider installing a carbon monoxide alarm in your home now, before you need a generator. Since you won’t be able to tell if your home has been affected, you need the alarm to alert you to any potential issues. This simple, inexpensive solution could save your life.
If you have been poisoned by a home generator, you might be eligible to receive compensation. It’s important that you have your case reviewed before the statute of limitations runs out (often two years after the date of the injury, in Ohio). Working with a skilled products liability attorney can help you recover money for your medical bills, lost wages and more. With any luck, the federal government will also take action to improve safety standards. Ideally, no one will ever have to worry about accidentally poisoning themselves again.
Discuss your case with an Ohio personal injury lawyer today
Carbon monoxide poisoning is dangerous. With more Ohioans using generators due to extreme weather events, you need to stay safe. Were you injured by a dangerous generator? I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.483.2298 for a consultation, and we’ll discuss your claim.