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What you can do to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

The most important way to help protect you and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning is to make sure that all fuel-burning equipment in your home is properly installed, used and maintained.

  • Make sure new natural gas appliances are installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and local codes. Most appliances should be installed by professionals.
  • Always follow the appliance manufacturer’s directions for safe operation.
  • Every year, have your furnace and other natural gas appliances, as well as chimneys and vents, inspected and serviced by a trained service technician. Just before winter is the best time.
  • When using a gas or wood-burning fireplace, open the flue to make sure it is safely ventilated.
  • Regularly examine vents and chimneys for poor connections, visible cracks, rust or stains.
  • Keep vents clear and make sure they are not blocked by debris, snow or animal nests.
  • Operate portable generators and all nonvented fuel-burning devices outside and away from open doors, windows or vents.

For the best protection of you and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning, properly install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector in your home. See the Carbon Monoxide Detectors link on the left for more information.

Warnings:

  • Never use a charcoal or outdoor gas grill inside your home, tent, vehicle or garage, even with the door opened.
  • Never heat your home using a gas oven, range or clothes dryer.
  • Never warm up the car or leave the engine running while parked in the garage, even with the garage door open, or when it is parked and covered with snow.
  • Never run a generator in the home, garage or crawlspace. Opening doors and windows or using fans will NOT prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home.
  • Never put foil on bottom of a gas oven because it interferes with combustion.
  • Never operate unvented gas-burning appliances or fuel-burning camping equipment in a closed room, tent, trailer or vehicle.