MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (September 27, 2017) – As homeowners in Texas and Florida braced for recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Briggs & Stratton Corporation increased customer support efforts to ensure outdoor power equipment owners were prepared before, during and after the storms.
As the world’s largest manufacturer of gasoline-powered engines for outdoor power equipment, and a leading supplier of portable and standby generators, Briggs & Stratton understands the need to ensure the safe and reliable operation of outdoor power equipment in storm situations like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Over the last several years, Briggs & Stratton has donated nearly $1 million of generators and pressure washers to 183 American Red Cross chapters in disaster-prone locations nationwide, like Texas, Louisiana and Florida. The Red Cross stores this equipment in distribution centers so it can be easily deployed as natural disasters occur, allowing these products to be some of the first on scene before and after disaster strikes.
Both prior to the storm and in the midst of the storm, homeowners turned to the Briggs & Stratton website for help. In Texas and Florida, the Briggs & Stratton website included targeted “How-to” tips and a dealer locator to ensure portable generator owners had performed routine maintenance prior to the storm so their generators operated properly. “In the current digital age, we understand homeowners are turning to self-help content, either through their desktops, tablets or phones,” states Rick Carpenter, vice president of corporate marketing. “Our web traffic increased two- to three-fold in Texas and Florida, respectively, immediately prior and during the storm.”
For customers who chose instead to call, Briggs & Stratton increased their Answer Center workforce by more than 20 percent. “Sometimes people just want to hear a voice so they can feel reassured they are following the right measures to prepare their generators in a storm situation,” Carpenter said.
And for those folks who need help after the waters recede, they can turn to a robust network of dealers. Briggs & Stratton has more than 15,000 dealers in the U.S., all served by Power Distributors, the single national distributor of Briggs & Stratton® engines, parts and whole goods for dealers and select retailers. As part of its commitment to servicing the dealer network, Power Distributors reached out to more than 1,000 dealers in the storm-affected areas to ensure they weathered the storm, and to provide assistance dealers needed to take care of their customers.
Briggs & Stratton is also there for customers as they clean up after the storm. Homeowners oftentimes use pressure washers to clean dirt and debris on the outside of their homes. For first-time pressure washer users, Briggs & Stratton recommends carefully reviewing operator’s manuals to ensure safe and proper usage, or going online at briggsandstratton.com for information on “Pressure Washer 101.”
And after homeowners have moved back into their residences, Briggs & Stratton recommends they consider a standby generator as a more permanent solution to power outages. Standby generators are permanently installed, operating on either natural gas or liquid propane. Both natural gas and propane generators provide a seamless transition from utility to backup power. “Portable generators can provide an immediate solution to an impending storm if homeowners don’t have a standby generator,” says Carpenter. “But a more permanent solution, a professionally-installed standby generator, gives homeowners the peace of mind needed in a storm situation because they operate automatically and eliminate the need for a homeowner to add gasoline.”
With almost 110 years of expertise in delivering outdoor power equipment solutions, Briggs & Stratton provides the highest level of customer support to those in need during a storm.
Briggs & Stratton reminds everyone to use portable generators safely. Portable generator users should never operate a portable generator indoors, in a garage or in any other enclosed structure, or near open windows. If portable generator users experience dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea or irregular breathing, Briggs & Stratton advises users to turn off the portable generator, get fresh air and seek medical attention immediately. As a member of the Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association, Briggs & Stratton invites homeowners to visit www.TakeYourGeneratorOutside.com to learn more about portable generator safety.
For additional information on selecting, using or maintaining portable generators, pressure washers or standby generators, please visit www.briggsandstratton.com.