Your best protection is to install a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm on each level of your home as your first line of defense. Some 93% of homes have smoke alarms, yet only 26% have CO alarms. A CO monitor with an audible alarm works much like a home smoke alarm and beeps loudly when the sensors detect CO. If the alarm sounds, evacuate the building. People who have symptoms of CO poisoning should seek emergency medical care. Call the fire department or public service company to investigate.
- Inspect your home for hazards.
- Your home heating system, chimney, and flue must be inspected and cleaned by a qualified technician every year. Keep chimneys clear of bird and squirrel nests, leaves, and residue to ensure proper ventilation.
- Be sure your furnace and other appliances, such as gas ovens, ranges, and cooktops, are inspected for adequate ventilation.
- Do not burn charcoal inside your house even in the fireplace. Have gas fireplaces inspected each fall to ensure the pilot light burns safely.
- Do not operate gasoline-powered engines in confined areas such as garages or basements. Do not leave your car, mower, or other vehicle running in an attached garage, even with the door open.
- Do not block or seal shut exhaust flues or ducts for appliances such as water heaters, ranges, and clothes dryers.