WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 1 marks the start of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers about the increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, fires and electric shock after hurricanes and severe storms hit.
“It takes only one hurricane to cause massive destruction and loss of life,” said CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric. “That is why I urge consumers to follow CPSC’s safety tips to be prepared ahead of storms and to keep safe after storms have passed.”
Consumers need to be especially careful when storms knock out electrical power. Gasoline-powered portable generators can create an increased risk of CO poisoning that can kill in minutes. CO is called the invisible killer because it is colorless and odorless. CO poisoning from portable generators can happen so quickly that exposed persons may become unconscious before recognizing the symptoms of nausea, dizziness or weakness.
CPSC data show African Americans are at higher risk of death
CPSC estimates that approximately 80 U.S. consumers die each year from CO poisoning caused by portable generators. The latest CPSC report shows that African Americans are at higher risk, accounting for 22 percent of generator-related CO deaths from 2010 through 2020, nearly double their estimated 13 percent share of the U.S. population.
Consumers who plan to use a portable generator if there is a power loss should follow these tips:
Loss of Power—Using a Generator Safely
Check CO and Smoke Alarms
Dangers with Charcoal and Candles
Dangers with Wet Appliances:
Dangers with Gas Leaks:
Remember, it takes only one storm to wreak havoc causing mass destruction and loss of life. Stay informed, be prepared and keep safe!
Link to broadcast quality video for media: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/XtFQ7YqK0x
CPSC spokespeople are available for interviews. Email [email protected] or call 240-204-4410 to arrange for an interview.
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:
- Visit CPSC.gov.
- Sign up to receive our e-mail alerts.
- Report a dangerous product or a product-related injury on www.SaferProducts.gov.
- Call CPSC’s Hotline at 800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054).
- Contact a media specialist.