Carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for approximately 15,000 emergency department visits and hundreds of deaths in the United States every year. And, by following a set of guidelines, it is entirely preventable.
Install a battery-operated or battery back-up carbon monoxide detector in your home—outside sleeping areas and main living areas on each level—and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
If the detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.
Service the heating system, water heater and any other gas-, oil- or coal-burning appliances, at least once a year.
Have vents and chimneys checked and cleaned annually.
Every five to ten years, have an energy audit of your home to identify any carbon monoxide leaks, even at low levels.
Don’t use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, garage or near a window.
Don’t run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
Don’t burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.
Don’t heat your house with a gas oven.
Don’t sleep in a room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.