The potential dangers of Hurricane Irene still exist even though the storm has passed. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) have stated that consumers need to be especially careful during power outages because the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire increase during such times. One of the many potential dangers in the aftermath of hurricane Irene is the use of portable generators. Generators that are in garages, sheds, basements and homes may have exhausts that contain high levels of carbon monoxide, which could cause lethal poisoning.
While portable generators can be extremely useful following a deadly storm, it is crucial that New Jersey residents use them safely and in an open space. CPSC reports that between 1999 and 2010, almost 600 people have been killed as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning due to these generators. Individuals without power may also try to use charcoal grills or camp stoves. These devices also release carbon monoxide. There were at least seven carbon monoxide-related deaths from use of charcoal or charcoal grills in 2007.
Other potential dangers in the aftermath of a hurricane involve downed power wires, damaged cable TV feeds, standing water and candle use. If you are in water of any kind, make sure you are not handling any electrical devices. Circuit breakers and wires in the wall that have become wet should not be powered. When using candles instead of a flashlight, make sure they are not placed near something that may catch fire.
When using any emergency equipment, it is necessary to follow all instructions and practice proper safety, but that may not be enough. If emergency equipment, such as a gas generator, is defectively manufactured or designed, it can cause serious injury, even if being used properly. The experienced product liability attorneys in New Jersey at Lependorf & Silverstein hope you and your family have remain safe during this difficult time. If you have any questions or concerns about any injuries you may have suffered due to defective emergency equipment, please contact our offices at 609-240-0040 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.