Quick Tip Tuesday: Carbon Monoxide Safety

Winter months put us at higher risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Please take precautions to minimize your risk!

  • Never use charcoal grills or run engines inside your home, garage, or basement even for a short time. Charcoal grills and small gasoline engines make a lot of carbon monoxide. Even opening all the windows and doors will not give you enough fresh air to prevent CO poisoning.
  • Never warm up a vehicle inside the garage. Warming up your care, truck or motorcycle on a cold day for just a few minutes (even with the garage door open) can make enough CO to make you sick. Start lawnmowers and other lawn equipment outdoors.
  • Have a heating contractor check your furnace, chimneys and other sources of CO every fall to make sure everything is okay. Make sure they use a tool that measures CO. To get harmful gases out of the home, many heating appliances have chimneys or vents. The chimney carries CO and other gases from the appliance to the outdoors. If your appliances and vents are working right, there should be little CO. If you rent, ask your landlord to have your heating system checked.
  • Make sure chimneys are in good shape – clean and working right. Have your chimney, wood-burning fireplace, or wood stove swept every year. Burning wood nearly always makes a lot of CO. It is very important that all the smoke goes out of the chimney.
  • If you use non-vented kerosene or gas heaters or a vent-free fireplace, follow instructions carefully and open a window for fresh air. Do not use them while sleeping.
  • Put carbon monoxide alarms near each sleeping area and on each floor of your home.
  • Never use the kitchen stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Have the kitchen stove fixed before using it if the flames burn orange or yellow.
  • Don’t use a smoking fireplace until you fix the problem.

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