Tips for Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly. Symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea and trouble breathing. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get away from the source and seek medical treatment.

  • Install at least one smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm on each level of your home and near bedrooms. Alarms should meet the latest Underwriters Laboratories (UL) safety standard and comply with local regulations for placement in the home.
  • Call a certified professional to inspect, clean, and tune up the central heating system and repair leaks.
  • Monitor appliances, chimneys and vents for soot, rust, stains, blockage or corrosion. Have them inspected each year. When in use, make sure that flues are open and they vent properly to allow gas to escape from enclosed areas. Don’t close the fireplace or damper before the fire is completely out.
  • Make sure wood burning stoves comply with local regulations and meet current EPA emissions standards.
  • Burn only wood and be sure the wood stove is placed on an approved stove board to protect the floor from heat and embers.
  • Hire a professional to clean your chimney at least once a year.
  • Never use generators indoors or in crawl spaces.
  • Use proper fuel in space heaters.
  • Use space heaters in well-ventilated areas.
  • Don’t use a gas kitchen oven to heat your home.
  • Keep gas appliances properly adjusted and serviced.

Many homeowners find that when they turn their furnace on for the first time that it emits a noxious smell. THIS IS NOT CARBON MONOXIDE.

Carbon Monoxide is odorless, so you wouldn’t be able to smell it even if it was. What is happening here is that dust has settled on the heat exchanger over the summer and turning on the unit for the first time is just burning off the dust. Be sure to open some windows to dispel the odor quickly.