Carbon Monoxide | General Heating and Air Conditioning

Protect You and Your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

winter cottage with snow covered roof

The winter months have more cases of carbon monoxide poisoning than any other season, but January in particular is a bad month for carbon monoxide poisoning. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the fatality rate in January is THREE times that of carbon monoxide related fatalities in August and July.

Why is this? It makes a lot of sense, really. In the winter, the temperatures go down; therefore, our use of gas-powered appliances goes up (think: your furnace, water heater, etc). Therefore colder states, such as chilly Wisconsin, are in higher danger as well since there is more reason for use of these appliances.

So, you want to take safety measures to protect yourself and your family from these dangers, especially in the riskier winter months. What can you do?

  • Do not start your car and let it sit in your garage with the door closed or even if the door is open, if the garage is attached to your house.
  • Avoid using risky alternative heating/power sources such as portable generators or propane stoves indoors.
  • Place a carbon monoxide (CO) detector on each floor of your house.
  • Have any gas, oil, or coal-burning appliance (such as your furnace or water heater) serviced by a professional each year.
  • Do not heat your house with a gas oven.

If your CO detector should ever go off, you want to exit your house immediately. Once you are outside, call 911. You should seek medical attention if you suspect you or someone else is victim to CO poisoning or if you feel dizzy, nauseated, or light-headed.