5 Winter Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas. Common sources of carbon monoxide include any fuel burning devices, such as your stove, furnace or water heater. As outside temperatures drop during the winter months, things start to heat up indoors. Winter is a peak time for carbon monoxide poisoning as more people start to utilize their fuel burning devices. Learn how to help protect your home and family from an emergency with our simple carbon monoxide safety tips.

1. Never use generators indoors

In the event of a power outage, never use a generator indoors. Place the generator a safe distance from the home, at least 10-15 feet.

2. Inspect your fuel burning devices

Furnaces and other fuel-burning appliances can produce carbon monoxide if they are not working properly or maintained. Make sure to have your devices inspected regularly by professionals to help protect your home and family.

3. Clean out your fireplace's flue

Make sure to clean out or have your fireplace's flue inspected before you light a fire. This will help prevent the flue from becoming clogged and prevent carbon monoxide from being trapped in your home.

4. Use kitchen vents anytime the stove is in use

The kitchen stove is among the most frequent sources of carbon monoxide in the home. To help eliminate danger of overexposure, always run exhaust fans when cooking, especially during the holidays when stoves are left on for longer periods of time. Also, open a nearby window periodically when cooking to allow fresh air to circulate, and never use your stove to heat your home.

5. Install and test your carbon monoxide alarms

Your first line of defense against a CO emergency is early detection. Make sure to install CO alarms on every level of the home and in every bedroom. It is important to regularly test your alarms and replace them every 5 to 7 years.