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Important Facts for Portable Generators: Self-Reported Ownership for Use during Power Outages


Percent of NJ residents who self-report owning at least one portable generator for use to provide electricity to their home during a power outage.


Number of people age 18 years and older self-reporting owning at least one portable generator for use to provide electricity to their home during a power outage.


Total number of persons aged 18 and older interviewed during the same survey period.

Data Interpretation Issues

Data from the New Jersey Behavioral Risk Factor Survey are intended to represent non-institutionalized adults in households with telephones. Data are collected using a random sample of all possible telephone numbers throughout New Jersey. Prior to analysis, data are weighted to represent the population distribution of adults by age, sex, and "race"/ethnicity. The denominator used for the calculation of these estimates includes all survey respondents except those with missing, don't know, and refused answers. As with all surveys, however, some residual bias may result from non-response (e.g., refusal to participate in the survey or to answer specific questions) and measurement error (e.g., social desirability or recall). Attempts are made to minimize such error by use of a strict calling protocol (up to 15 calls are made to reach each household), good questionnaire design, standardization of interviewer behavior, interviewer training, and frequent, on-site interviewer monitoring and supervision.

Why Is This Important?

Little is known about the percentage of NJ residents who have purchased portable generators for use during power outages. Portable back-up generators produce colorless odorless carbon monoxide (CO) gas which can sicken or kill residents if generator exhaust is not properly vented. CO poisoning claims the lives of hundreds of people every year and makes thousands more ill. Important guidelines: PORTABLE GENERATORS: * Never use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open. * Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows. CO DETECTORS: * Install battery-operated or battery back-up CO detectors near every sleeping area in your home. * Check CO detectors regularly to be sure they are functioning properly.

Health Program Information

Information on whether your generator requires a permit from NJDEP: []
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Wed, 21 February 2024 12:34:25 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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