What Can You Do To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Posted January 1, 2020


DO purchase and install carbon monoxide detectors that meet Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standard 2034-95. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper placement, use and maintenance. If the detectors plug into the wall, be sure they have a battery backup.

DO leave the house if the alarm sounds on your CO detector. Go to a hospital emergency room or call 911 if anyone is feeling sick. If no one is sick, call the emergency number for your heating service or 911. Stay out of the home until your heating service or fire department says it’s okay to go in.

DO have a heating professional inspect, clean, and adjust your fireplace, wood stove, gas appliances including furnaces and water heaters, and chimneys/vents every fall—before the start of home heating season.

DO purchase gas appliances that vent their fumes to the outside. Have them installed by a heating professional.

DO read and follow all of the instructions for any fuel-burning devices.

DO make sure that your car, truck, or boat has a working, airtight exhaust system. Repair exhaust leaks immediately.

DO pay attention to symptoms (headache, dizziness, tiredness and/or a sick feeling in your stomach), especially if more than one person is feeling sick or if people and pets are feeling sick.


DON’T operate fuel-powered machines such as generators, power washers, or mowers in buildings or semi-enclosed spaces.

DON’T cook or heat with a grill indoors, even if you put it inside a fireplace.

DON’T run vehicles in the garage, even if the door is open. Carbon monoxide can build up quickly and enter your vehicle and home.

DON’T sit in a parked vehicle with the engine running for a long period of time, especially if your car is in snow.

DON’T use gas stoves or ovens to heat
your home.

DON’T use an un-vented gas or kerosene space heater indoors.

DON’T close the damper to the fireplace unless the fire is completely out and the coals are cold.

DON’T ride in covered pickup truck beds or campers. Air moving around the vehicle can draw exhaust in.

DON’T swim or play near the back of a boat where the motor gives off exhaust.

DON’T ignore symptoms! You could die within minutes if you do nothing.

For more information, contact the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services by calling 1-800-648-6942 or visit