MILWAUKEE, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first month of the year presents particular concerns for home owners and renters – due in part to the use of alternative heating and power sources during power outages. Therefore as the winter ice and snowstorm season sets in, Briggs & Stratton Corporation (NYSE: BGG) finds it an opportune time to remind residents of colder states to be mindful of the dangers of carbon monoxide while operating portable generators. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120529/CG15020LOGO) "Portable generators are designed to thrive during ice and snow storm season, when it's more likely power outages will abruptly put families in the dark," said Deadra Richelle-Purifoy, assistant marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton's Power Products Group. "But generators can be dangerous if not operated properly. We hope to bring attention to the dangers of carbon monoxide and lead residents to protect themselves." Generator demand has increased nationwide in recent years in the wake of devastating events like Superstorm Sandy. There are also far more people purchasing portable generators who have never owned one before and may be unfamiliar with safe operation. Couple that with the fact that emotions tend to run high during power outages and this is where dangerous mistakes often occur. Portable generators are powered by small engines that emit potentially harmful carbon monoxide gas. If carbon monoxide is not allowed to exhaust from the engine in a safe manner, harmful effects – even death – can occur in a matter of minutes. Carbon monoxide is especially dangerous because it is a tasteless, odorless and colorless gas. It is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned and can still be present even when exhaust fumes cannot be detected.