Consumer Reports (CR), the independent, nonprofit member organization, welcomes the opportunity to submit comments to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding the agency’s supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to establish a mandatory safety standard for portable generators. CR strongly supports the CPSC’s proposed safety standard and urges the Commission to finalize it expeditiously.
Improving the safety of portable generators—in particular, to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning—has been a longtime priority for CR. For decades, we have educated consumers about the utility of these products, as well as their safety risks, and advocated for stronger standards. We recommend to consumers that they should never use a portable generator in an enclosed space; always run a portable generator at least 20 feet from their home and equipment such as a central air conditioner condenser or a window A/C; and direct the exhaust away from their home or any other structure, including any neighbor’s home. We test and rate portable generators, evaluating models on both safety and performance, to give consumers the knowledge they need to make informed decisions on purchases.
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