Outdoor Power Equipment Institute Advises Consumers to "Look Before You Pump" at Gas Station

Industry’s consumer protection campaign prepares consumers for changing gas pumps and higher ethanol fuel blends

Alexandria, Va., October 23, 2013—The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers, today announced a national ethanol education and consumer protection campaign, called ‘Look Before You Pump.’ 

The ‘Look Before You Pump’ education campaign cautions consumers that it is harmful and illegal to use higher than 10 percent ethanol gas in any outdoor power equipment, such as mowers, chain saws, snow throwers, UTVs, generators and other small engine products.  

The urgency of the industry’s campaign comes from research that shows high-ethanol blends of gasoline can damage or destroy small engines not designed to handle it. A recent OPEI/Harris Interactive study shows the vast majority of Americans (71 percent) are “not at all sure” if it is illegal or legal to put high level ethanol gas (i.e., anything higher than 10 percent ethanol) into engines such as those in boats, mowers, chain saws, snow mobiles, generators and other engine products.

The ‘Look Before You Pump’ campaign will reach consumers through radio and video public service announcements (PSA), fact sheets, in-store displays, labeling and product hang-tags. A prominent, red warning hand indicating ‘OK’ for 10 percent ethanol and ‘No’ for mid-level ethanol blends (such as E15, E30, E85) is the campaign’s main graphic. 

For more information, visit www.LookBeforeYouPump.com and search for #LookB4UPump on Twitter and Facebook.

 “Although there is continued uncertainty in the renewable fuels market, one thing for certain is that the way consumers select and use fuel will be changing in the coming years,” said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI.

“It is incumbent upon our industry to be proactive.  We are cautioning American consumers and business owners whose livelihood depends on our equipment to be more mindful at the gas pump.  Don’t assume that the gas you put in your car can still go in your mower, chain saw or generator.”  

According to Todd Teske, Chairman, President and CEO of Briggs & Stratton Corporation, the world’s largest  manufacturer of small engines, and OPEI’s Board Chair, “It is critical that we educate all users of outdoor power equipment about the dangers misfueling can cause to their equipment.  Our number one goal is to protect our customers.”  

OPEI urges consumers to read their equipment operating manual before filling with gasoline to ensure they use the right fuel for that engine.  

About OPEI

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers of consumer and commercial outdoor power equipment.  The OPEI Education Foundation is the creative force behind TurfMutt.com. OPEI is a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) in the development of safety and performance standards. For more information, visit www.OPEI.org. 

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Attention Media: Visuals, video and fact sheets for download or embedding are available at: www.LookBeforeYouPump.com