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 as people start to utilize their fuel burning devices. Learn how to protect your home and family with our simple winter 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 CO if they are not properly maintained and inspected by professionals regularly. Make sure to have your devices inspected 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 trapping carbon monoxide in your home.
4. Use kitchen vents anytime the stove is in use
The kitchen stove is among the most frequent sources of CO poisoning 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. Also, never use your stove to heat your home.
5. Install and test your CO alarms
Your first line of defense is early detection. Make sure to install CO alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom. It is important to regularly test your alarms and know when to replace them, every 7 to 10 years.
Winter Safety Essentials:
Carbon Monoxide Plug-In Alarm with Battery Backup
This personal carbon monoxide detector plugs into any standard electrical socket to monitor CO levels in throughout your home. The alarm's battery backup to allow for continuous monitoring, even in the event of a power outage.
The National Fire Protection Association, 2018, https://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/public-education/resources/safety-tip-sheets/COsafety.pdf
The National Fire Protection Association, 2018, https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Fire-and-life-safety-equipment/Carbon-monoxide