As Many Victims of Hurricane Sandy Turn to Portable Generators for Assistance, Beware of Fires and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Particularly from Recalled Generators
On numerous visits to the New Jersey seashore over the last week, post-Hurricane Sandy, you could hear the din and smell the fumes from many portable generators being used by storm victims.
Unfortunately, our law firm is aware of a number of situations where one tragedy is compounded with another tragedy due to carbon monoxide poisoning or fires.
Recently, Champion Power Equipment recalled portable generators sold at Costco from December 2011 to July 2012 due to the fact that fuel leaking from the generator’s carburetor was posing a fire hazard. The recall involves two models of Champion Power Equipment Portable Generators Model 41332 (which has an open frame) and the words “Champion Power Equipment” is noted on the control panel as well as 8,250 starting watts and 6,500 running watts on the side of the fuel tank. Model 41532 also has side panels that cover the long sides of the fuel tank. The words “Champion Power Equipment” are on the side panel by the control panel and “9000 starting watts” and “7,000 running watts” on the control panel.
As an experienced product liability lawyer, it is important to recognize that when using portable generators, they should never be run indoors including garage spaces, basements, crawl spaces, or sheds. The engine exhaust in such closed spaces is toxic. Over the last week, many people have been diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning and, unfortunately, many who survived Hurricane Sandy have died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Portable generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide within minutes. It is important to understand that you cannot see or smell carbon monoxide, and even if you do not smell fumes, you may still be exposed to the toxic fumes.
Our hearts, prayers, and thoughts go out to those who have been displaced or suffered property damage or injury as a result of Hurricane Sandy and our carbon monoxide poisoning attorneys are committed to consumer safety.