Prevention is the Key to Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Do have your fuel-burning appliances inspected by a trained professional at the beginning of every heating season. These include:
    • Oil and gas furnaces
    • Gas water heaters
    • Gas ranges and ovens
    • Gas dryers
    • Gas or kerosene space heaters
    • Fireplaces
    • Wood stoves
  • Do make certain that the flues and chimneys are connected, in good condition, and not blocked.
  • Do choose appliances that vent their fumes to the outside whenever possible, have them properly installed, and maintain them according to manufacturers' instructions.
  • Do read and follow all of the instructions that accompany any fuel-burning device. If you cannot avoid using an unvented gas or kerosene space heater, carefully follow the cautions that come with the device. Use the proper fuel and keep doors to the rest of the house open. Crack a window to ensure enough air for ventilation and proper fuel-burning.
  • Do call the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 800-638-2772 for more information on how to reduce your risks from carbon monoxide (CO) and other combustion gases and particles.
  • Don't idle the car in a garage - even if the garage door to the outside is open. Fumes can build up very quickly in the garage and living area of your home.
  • Don't use a gas oven to heat your home, even for a short time.
  • Don't ever use a charcoal grill indoors - even in a fireplace.
  • Don't sleep in any room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.
  • Don't use any gasoline-powered engines (mowers, weed trimmers, snow blowers, chain saws, small engines or generators) in enclosed spaces.
  • Don't ignore symptoms, particularly if more than one person is feeling them. You could lose consciousness and die if you do nothing.