The prevalence of natural disasters puts the spotlight on usage of portable generators and their safety.
Portable generators are useful when temporary or remote electric power is needed, but they also can be hazardous.
Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use. Most of the incidents associated with portable generators reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) involve CO poisoning from generators used indoors or in partially-enclosed spaces.
The latest CPSC report concerning non-fire CO associated incidents and deaths, published in August 2017, states from 2005-2016 a total of 780 of 965 (>80 percent) non-fire CO deaths were caused by portable generators – an average of 71 deaths per year.
INDUSTRY REQUESTED UL EXPERTISE
The CPSC requested that UL form a working group to develop a specific proposal for requirements for portable engine-generator sets that fall under ANSI/UL 2201 with the goal of writing performance requirements that reduce the risk of death and injury due to CO poisoning.
A task group of 37 members was formed, including generator and engine manufacturers, trade associations, academia, government (state and federal), labor and the local response (fire department) communities.
As always, UL’s public safety mission is at the forefront of everything we do. We help provide peace of mind to consumers, retailers and manufacturers by leveraging our safety science expertise to develop standards and to test and certify the products that people use every day.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CARBON MONOXIDE HAZARDS
- Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use. Most of the incidents associated with portable generators reported to CPSC involve CO poisoning from generators used indoors or in partially-enclosed spaces.
- Visit CPSC for more safety tips and information on: Carbon Monoxide Information Center, Carbon Monoxide Safety Guide, Portable Generator Safety Alert.
- Click here to enlarge the infographic and learn more about portable generator carbon monoxide facts, including how ANSI/UL 2201 addresses performance requirements to mitigate CO poisoning.
Click infographic to enlarge
EXPERTISE IN GENERATOR TESTING AND CERTIFICATION
UL works to help ensure the safe manufacture and use of improved technologies through rigorous assessments on portable generators. ANSI/UL 2201 offers testing for CO under a variety of conditions to verify additional protection for consumers. UL has now begun offering testing and certification to ANSI/UL 2201 and expects to announce later this year the first certified ANSI/UL 2201 Portable Generators.
Manufacturers interested in UL testing and certification can email: EnergyTechQuote@ul.com.