ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 23, 2013 — The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers, today announced a national ethanol education and consumer protection campaign, called “Look Before You Pump.”
The “Look Before You Pump” education campaign cautions consumers that it is harmful and illegal to use higher than 10% ethanol gas in any outdoor power equipment, such as mowers, chain saws, snow throwers, UTVs, generators and other small engine products.
The urgency of the industry’s campaign comes from research that shows high-ethanol blends of gasoline can damage or destroy small engines not designed to handle it. A recent OPEI/Harris Interactive study shows the vast majority of Americans (71%) are “not at all sure” if it is illegal or legal to put high level ethanol gas (i.e., anything higher than 10% ethanol) into engines such as those in boats, mowers, chain saws, snowmobiles, generators and other engine products.
The “Look Before You Pump” campaign will reach consumers through radio and video public service announcements (PSAs), fact sheets, in-store displays, labeling and product hang-tags. A prominent, red warning hand indicating “OK” for 10% ethanol and “No” for mid-level ethanol blends (such as E15, E30, E85) is the campaign’s main graphic.
For more information, visit www.lookbeforeyoupump.com and search for #LookB4UPump on Twitter and Facebook.
“Although there is continued uncertainty in the renewable fuels market, one thing for certain is that the way consumers select fuel and use fuel will be changing in the coming years,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI.
“It is incumbent upon our industry to be proactive. We are cautioning American consumers and business owners whose livelihood depends on our equipment to be more mindful at the gas pump. Don’t assume that the gas you put in your car can still go in your mower, chain saw or generator.”
According to Todd Teske, chairman, president and CEO of Briggs & Stratton Corp., the world’s largest manufacturer of small engines and OPEI’s board chair, “It is critical that we educate all users of outdoor power equipment about the dangers misfueling can cause to their equipment. Our number one goal is to protect our consumers.”
OPEI urges consumers to read their equipment operating manual before filling with gasoline to ensure they use the right fuel for that engine.