MILWAUKEE — The only safe place to operate a portable generator is outside in a proper area, and now there's added protection to ensure individuals are doing so. Briggs & Stratton is introducing CO Guard Carbon Monoxide Shutdown technology on new portable generator models manufactured for the U.S. over the next 18 months. The carbon monoxide (CO) shutdown technology is designed to shut off the portable generator if harmful levels of CO accumulate in the generator's operating area.
"The announcement of CO Guard technology comes after several years of Briggs & Stratton dedicating resources to create the most comprehensive solution to reduce the number of carbon monoxide related injuries and deaths caused by improper use of portable generators," said Mike Derra, Briggs & Stratton Corp director of engineering. "Extensive modeling and testing confirms CO Guard lowers the risk of carbon monoxide deaths far more than existing technology on the market."
Revised ANSI/PGMA G300-2018 Standard
On April 20, 2018, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Board of Standards Review (BSR) approved a revised G300 standard from the Portable Generator Manufacturers' Association (PGMA) in response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) call to reduce the number of injuries and deaths related to carbon monoxide from misuse of portable generators. The updated ANSI/PGMA G300-2018 standard was developed collaboratively amongst PGMA members with input and guidance from a comprehensive group of experts in health and safety fields and governmental bodies.
Building on the pre-existing ANSI/PGMA G300-2015 standard that requires portable generator manufacturers to address electrical, thermal and mechanical hazards of portable generators, the revised standard requires adopters to integrate technology that will automatically shut down the generator before harmful levels of carbon monoxide accumulate around it.
"The PGMA has reported test results and modeling in a series of four public technical summits that show the ANSI/PGMA G300-2018 standard is more than 99% effective in preventing fatalities when the generator is improperly operated in enclosed spaces," Derra added. "The effectiveness of the technology has been validated by an independent third party, and our solution to the new standard has been successfully demonstrated to several CPSC commissioners and staff members during visits to Briggs & Stratton on multiple occasions."
CO Guard Carbon Monoxide Shutdown
Briggs & Stratton's patent-pending innovation monitors the presence of carbon monoxide and will shut down the generator if harmful levels of the poisonous gas accumulate in the operating area. Users will be provided confirmation of the shutdown trigger via an LED light display on the unit, and a nearby decal will provide guidance on where to move the generator outdoors. Operators will not be able to continue with normal power restoration until CO Guard's sensor has determined the presence of CO has diminished.
When operating a CO Guard-equipped generator properly, users will not need to worry about false shutdowns interrupting their power restoration. CO Guard's patent-pending algorithm protects users from false shutdowns, even when the generator is providing maximum output in heavy-wind conditions. "The ability to recognize the difference between elevated CO levels due to improper operation and sudden wind shifts illustrates just one area where our technology outpaces industry standards," Derra said.
The sensor used in the CO Guard system has been proven in the field; more than 52 million sensors have been used in residential and commercial CO detectors, marine, and other industrial applications. To ensure durability, the sensor has been tested to function in temperatures from minus 20 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Consumers will be able to purchase the first portable generators featuring Briggs & Stratton's CO Guard technology in fall 2018 through select retail partners. The technology will be featured on several portable generator brands over the next 18 months. Shoppers will be able to identify if a model features CO Guard technology by looking on the generator's packaging and control panel for a CO Guard icon.
While portable generators can provide users with flexibility and comfort, they must be used appropriately at all times in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. As a member of the Portable Generator Manufacturers' Assn., Briggs & Stratton invites homeowners to visit www.TakeYourGeneratorOutside.com to learn more about portable generator safety.