Portable generators are critical to the construction industry and serve as a convenient, easy-to-move power source on construction sites. However, as with any tool, safe and proper use is critical to a safe result. For portable generators, this means that a generator is never operated indoors or in confined spaces, which limits exposure to carbon monoxide (CO). Some crews may be tempted to bring generators indoors, believing that an unfinished structure is providing adequate ventilation. The risks are real, however, and until recently there was no comprehensive industry standard to ensure safety.
That changed with the updated ANSI / PGMA G300-2018 Standard for Portable Generator Safety and Performance (G300), which includes the requirement that portable generators have carbon monoxide (CO) automatic shutdown technology. While each manufacturer’s approach is unique, all generators that meet the standard will automatically detect levels of CO near dangerous levels and shut down the portable generator engine before carbon monoxide levels exceed 800 parts per million (ppm). After the engine has stopped, a notification light will illuminate for at least five minutes after it has been switched off.
Extensive tests in indoor, outdoor and “real world” situations show that these shutdowns prevent more than 99% of deaths from a portable generator from being exposed to CO.
Susan Orenga, General Manager of the Association of Portable Generator Manufacturers, said, “Almost all deaths related to portable generator abuse occur indoors. We want to make sure that consumers understand the problems of portable generator abuse. That is why PGMA has developed its extensiveEducation and awareness campaign. “
Orenga stresses that nothing is more important than proper use, but adds, “The shutdown requirement in the G300 standard is potentially life-saving and fail-safe.”
While CO safety is big news in the updated standard, the G300 standard provides comprehensive guidance on all aspects of portable generator safety and performance, covering topics such as general electrical design requirements, proper guarding of moving parts, avoidance of mechanical ones Covers hazards and electric shock hazards. as well as rigorous tests that manufacturers must pass, including temperature tests, drop tests, and more.
ANSI / PGMA G300-2018 has buy-in from portable generator manufacturers as it was created by the industry’s proprietary association of portable generator manufacturers with the assistance of industry experts. This gives ANSI / PGMA G300 the advantage over contradicting standards, as ANSI / PGMA G300 is already known to the manufacturers and is integrated into products.
It is also the only comprehensive standard for portable generator safety and performance. Other standards may cover one or some aspects of security and / or performance, while ANSI / PGMA G300 is all-encompassing.
Operating a portable generator outdoors – far from doors and windows in well-ventilated areas – is the only way to maintain safety. Users can rest assured that portable generators are some of the safest, most rigorously tested, and best performing portable generators on the market, with an indication that they are ANSI / PGMA G300 Compliant.
Click to read the full PGMA / ANSI G300-2018 standard.
The Association of Manufacturers of Portable Generators (PGMA) is a trade association that aims to develop and influence safety and performance standards for the products in our industry. The association is also dedicated to educating consumers and tradespeople on the safe use of portable generators and has developed the Take it Outside ™ campaign to support its mission. Founded in 2009, PGMA members include major manufacturers of portable generators sold in North America and a significant majority of the industry..
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