Portable Generator Comments Help to Define Controversy

Portable Generator Comments on Facebook

Since we started posting on this issue this week, there have been a number of people on Facebook who have disagreed with our position that the generator manufacturers need to be held accountable for ignoring this foreseeable misuse of their product.

For our story on the Chicago poisoning click here.

For our story on the Kingsport Tennessee poisoning, click here.

Pasted below are some of those comments and our responses to them.

Portable Generator Comments:

Would you leave your gas lawn mower or gas weed eater running in your basement or anywhere inside your home?
The Brain Injury Law Group:
You might work on either in your garage with the door open. But lawn products are being designed to run outside. A gas generator is not weatherized to be run outside and it is a risk of being stolen. It is designed to be left unattended, so where is it you are supposed to use it?

Portable Generator Comments:

Family has many power outages and use a generator as backup but is used on the outside of the home. Busses have generators but all the fumes are with the mufflers going completely to the outside of the bus so the fumes don’t cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Some have built sheds to store their backup power generators away from the home to lock them up and keep them safe and to provide safe and proper use of the equipment and proper adequate ventilation.
Comment:
So chicago brain injury you’re suggesting that a gas powered generator is meant to be used indoors?? Thats ridiculous! They have gas engines…same as a lawnmower. Theyre definitely not meant for use inside. Theyre made to run tools…or for camping…small power requirements. Not to run a breaker panel
Comment:
I went to school with the Kingsport victim. He was a great guy growing up. I remember him always sticking up for the underdog, calming bullies, and sharing his lunch and snacks with friends in need. God rest his soul.
Comment:
ALERT ON CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING IN KINGSPORT
Comment:
Sad. This happened on my street.
The Brain Injury Law Group:

We are sorry for your communities loss. But justice should be sought to stop these deaths and help provided for the survivors. To give a relative sense of how much the generator manufacturers knew about the relative magnitude of this “foreseeable misuse” of their product, see this chart comparing generator deaths to other well known product liability crisis.

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Portable generator comments include these who think that manufacturers should not be sued because of operator error.

Portable Generator Comments:

I hate to hear this but why did they have it the basement and if you plan on doing something like this you need to make some type of hose system like you see at the dealership garages that will slide over the exhaust pipe and route it outside
Comment:
I swear ppl will sue over any damn thing anymore. Im not trying to sugar coat ehat happened. It sux what happened to this guy…but sumtimes you just have to use your head. A butcher knife made for cutting meat can be used to stab and kill somebody, or yourself. But when that happens should ths knife manufacturer be held accountable??? I guess your against guns too…and think guns kill ppl…not ppl killing ppl WITH guns huh
The Brain Injury Law Group:
From the CPSC:
Additionally, some portable generator manufacturers recommended (and continue to recommend) using extension cords that are preferably less than 15 feet long, to prevent voltage drop and possible overheating wires. Other generator manufacturers also recommended (and continue to recommend) that portable generators be placed under cover when it is wet outside because, although these products are intended for outdoor use only, they are not weatherized for safe use in wet conditions posing a risk of shock or electrocution. Staff believes these manufacturer recommendations conflict with the need to avoid the CO poisoning hazard because the recommendations may encourage generator operation in close proximity to a residence or in an enclosed or semi-enclosed environment. Proper placement of the unit is especially significant because demand for portable generators to power home appliances increases dramatically during storms with wet or icy conditions that cause power outages.

Portable Generator Comments:

Really blame the manufacturer why not the moron running the generator inside.
Portable Generator Comments:
They care about a couple of carbon monoxide deaths cause money is involved but the shootings in chicago go unattended shows where priorities are
Comment:
Outdoor use only duh!!
Comment:
Not one word in the article to caution running the gas powered generators OUTSIDE ONLY. Pretty damned irresponsible for a position paper on safety.
Comment:
Only use outside
The Brain Injury Law Group:
Yes of course, only use outside. But the only prevention angle that hasn’t been tried is for the generator manufacturers to make these internal combustion engines as safe as cars and the generators on boats.
Portable Generator Comments:
Sue the gas co for making fuel sue the parents for raising
Stupid sue Egypt
Comment:
Sure cars are safe to go 80 or maybe even 90. But using an internal combustion engine indoors is like driving 100MPH OR FASTER.
TWO POINTS: first your article should point out that generators are to be place outdoors.
Second, that there are no combustion engines made to run indoors.
Comment:
There are warning labels on coffee cups for a reason! There are also an abundance of safety warnings included with the generator that clearly tell the user not to use it indoors and to place it a certain distance away. I hope that your firm is trying to get a new warning label on the box that reads “WARNING! NOT TO BE USED BY MORONS, STUPID PEOPLE, OR THOSE SELECTED BY DARWIN!”.
Comment:
I am certain that technology does not exist to allow the indoor operation of gasoline engines.
And listen, your answer is not just about how many are injured.
I am a Speech Language Pathologist with many years working in the rehab setting where most of my patients are brain injured.
Sympathy does not make engines run clean.
The Brain Injury Law Group:
The technology exists to make these products safe enough that they give people warning before they succumb to the fumes. TTI is already making these generators. See http://www.ttigroupna.com/
Portable Generator Comment:
You can only make so many excuses for people’s stupidity… I know it pays your bills, but don’t expect the rest of us to go along with this ridiculous premise. What are you going to do? Designate a company representative to come over every time they use it?
The Brain Injury Law Group:
The generator manufacturers can only blame their bad product on misuse for so long. Children are dying. Do you want to blame them, too?
Portable Generator Comments:
When u buy a port. generator the instructions say outside use only!
Comment:
This has got to be one of the most ridiculous articles I’ve ever read. So I’m assuming that we need to tell people not to run their cars in the garage with the doors closed for hours? Maybe we should tell everyone not to bring your grill in the house and cook for 100 people on it? Seriously, why are we protecting the stupid? If you are not smart enough to realize you DO NOT run an internal combustion engine indoors……….well then I guess that’s just survival of the fittest.
Brain Injury Law Group:
Modern cars aren’t nearly as deadly as a portable generator.
Portable Generator Comments:

And I’m just gonna leave this right here ……….

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Reader points out in Portable Generator Comments that there are warnings on generators not to use indoors. Such warnings are only in English.

Brain Injury Law Group:
500 people have died since this warning label was put on the generators. 
Comment:
Well this is exactly why I am bothering to post here.
You just shifted your initial position opposing the use of gas powered generators because of injury and death while using generators indoors to the use of generators outside of buildings.
This leads to suspicion of your unspoken motive.
They make heavy gauge extension cables to minimize voltage drop…
The Brain Injury Law Group: You sound like a knowledgable consumer. The generator manufacturers know that they will be selling these machines to people who are not, who are making emergency decisions because of loss of power. The consumer’s motivation is to get the power restored in an emergency. Most people don’t know about CO.
The Brain Injury Law Group: Many of those die from generators put the generators in open garages, outside near an open window, with fans and other makeshift exhaust mechanisms. None of this is new. The generator manufacturers have been making excuses not to to what marine generator manufacturers did in 2005/2006 and what auto manufacturers did in the 1970s’ Use catalytic converters and Electronic Fuel Injection to cut down the number of deaths.
Comment:
The extension cord problem is because people go to Walmart and buy the cheapest cord they can find. No, you should be buying heavy duty cords to use with generators.
2. Under cover does not mean inside your house. 
Please tell me what deaths have been cut down by using catalytic converters and fuel injection?
The Brain Injury Law Group:
Automotive related carbon monoxide deaths are down 80% since catalytic converters and EFI has been put on cars. Even car related suicides are down by a similar percentage.
Comment:
So what are you saying? Ban generators?
The Brain Injury Law Group:
What we are saying is that emissions should be limited like they have been in cars for two generations and that there should also be an automatic shut down mechanism so that if carbon monoxide exceeds 100 ppm, that the generators will shut off.
Comment:
I think it’s more financially feasible to let natural selection take its course. That would add a lot to the cost of a generator. For the markup that would add to them, people could just pay the power company to turn their power back on. Like I said, I know these idiots are your bread and butter, but… 🙄
Brain Injury Law Group:
The cost of the shut down system is nominal. The catalytic converter adds perhaps 10-20% to the cost. This is a reasonable expenditure considering that these products kill at such a predictable rate. We require seat belts, airbags and safety devices all through our society. What is it about portable electric generators that should make them exempt to the safety principles that apply to products?

Attorney Gordon Johnson

800-992-9447

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