Portable generators have become extremely popular in recent years, and it is easy to understand why. With the powerful storms that sometimes hit Texas, a portable generator can allow a person to continue performing all of the important tasks they need to do, such as cooking, even when the power goes out.
While portable generators are certainly convenient, they also come with some dangers. It is important that everyone understands the risks these generators pose and how to avoid potentially deadly problems.
Dangers of Portable Generators
Portable generators allow people to continue running power throughout their home, even when the main source of electricity is out. However, the exhaust these generators produce is toxic carbon monoxide. The levels of this toxic gas can increase very quickly, particularly when a generator is continuously run and if it is operating in an enclosed space.
Carbon monoxide can quickly poison people inside of a home as it cannot be seen, smelled, or heard. A person may experience flu-like symptoms and simply think they are coming down with an illness, not connecting the sickness to the portable generator they are using. Rather quickly, a person can become incapacitated, and in the worst of cases, this poisoning is fatal.
Other dangers associated with portable generators include electric shock, electrocution, and fire.
How to Stay Safe When Using a Generator
Although the dangers of portable generators are very real, there are ways to stay safe when using them. Appropriate precautions include:
- Never use a portable generator in an enclosed space.
- When running a generator, make sure it is at least 20 feet away from the home and make sure it is not located near doors, windows, or vents.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
- Test the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector frequently.
- Always keep the generator dry and do not use it in wet conditions.
- Never plug a generator into a wall outlet when attempting to power the house’s wiring with it.
- Do not store fuel for the generator inside the home.
New Models, New Safety Precautions
Manufacturers of portable generators have become more aware in recent years of the dangers these products pose and have taken measures to correct them. One of the main upgrades includes automatic shutoff valves that will instantly turn the generator off when carbon monoxide levels rise to a dangerous level. Some models have also reduced carbon monoxide emissions to lower the risk.
Need Legal Advice? Contact Us
Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their products are safe to use and will not harm consumers. When manufacturers of portable generators fail to do this, those who are harmed should speak with a knowledgeable Texas personal injury lawyer.
At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, we have the experience and the resources to hold manufacturers accountable when dangerous products cause serious injuries. Let us fight for the full and fair compensation you need. Contact us today to arrange your free consultation with one of our lawyers so we can start reviewing your claim.
Douglas D. Ketterman is the originator and founder of Ketterman, Rowland & Westlund where he currently serves as President and Managing Shareholder. Douglas has extensive experience in handling all types of civil litigation. He graduated with honors from St. Mary’s School of Law in 1989 and has been Board Certified as a Specialist in Personal Injury Trial Law since 1998 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.