Consumer group warns about dangers of portable generators

Written by Megan Lello and Radio Pennsylvania | Nov 21, 2012 4:00 AM

(Rockville, MD) -- Many Pennsylvanians may have used portable generators to help power their homes during Superstorm Sandy.

But one consumer safety group is warning folks about the dangers of such tools.

Inez Tenebaum is chairwoman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

She says the generators can emit dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. "If you have a generator in your basement or a shed or someplace close to your home, that generator puts out so much carbon monoxide. It's equal to hundred of idling cars."

Tenenbaum says portable generators should be kept outside, far away from homes, and should never be placed in basements, sheds, or garages.

She urges people to make sure they have carbon monoxide detectors installed in their homes.

Four Pennsylvanians died and many more were sickened by carbon monoxide from portable generators used in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

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