Portable Generators

April 12, 2013

CPSC staff participates as a non-voting member on Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Standards Technical Panel (STP) for UL 2201 Portable Engine-Generator Assemblies, which UL issued as a standard in March 2009. Staff’s primary interest is to reduce the carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning hazard associated with this product. As of June 2010, the CPSC databases contain records of at least 542 deaths from CO poisoning associated with consumers’ use of generators in the period from 1999 through 2009.

 

Staff recommends that requirements be developed to address consumer exposure to unsafe CO emissions. Staff also advocates the establishment of requirements for safe outdoor use of generators in rain or other wet conditions, to reduce the potential risk of shock or electrocution and to help reduce the incidence of consumers improperly using generators in indoor locations. UL 2201 currently has requirements for rainproof enclosures, weather-resistant and weather-protected receptacles, and ground-fault circuit-interrupters on 125-volt AC output circuits.

 

Related Regulation

Portable Generator Labels