Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Protecting Your Home

Topic Overview

Steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning include the following:

  • Purchase and install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home and near sleeping areas. Follow the directions carefully for installing and using the detector. Be prepared so that you know what to do if the detector alarm sounds.
  • Have your heating system inspected each year.
  • Monitor appliances, chimneys, and vents for visible soot, rust, stains, blockage, or corrosion. Also have them inspected each year. When in use, make sure they vent properly to allow gas to escape from enclosed areas. Don't close the fireplace or wood/pellet stove damper before the fire is completely out.
  • Don't use kerosene or propane heaters in an enclosed area. Don't use a gas kitchen oven to heat your home.
  • Don't burn charcoal or use a grill indoors.
  • Don't place power generators or pressure washers near windows or doors of your home.
  • Don't use paint remover that has methylene chloride in it, especially when children are around. (Methylene chloride converts to carbon monoxide in the body.)
  • Don't smoke cigarettes or have your child near someone who is smoking, especially in a poorly ventilated room.

Credits

Current as of: August 22, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
R. Steven Tharratt MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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