cleaning supplies

Include Carbon Monoxide Prevention as Part of Your Spring Cleaning

Social media outlets are full of #Springcleaning tips to prepare your home and wardrobe for the warmer weather.  Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning prevention should be part of that effort.   CO is an odorless, colorless gas emitted from the incomplete combustion of fuel burning appliances such as furnaces, cooking appliances, and portable generators.  If it burns fuel, it produces CO.

What to add to your "to do" list?

  • Clean fireplace, wood/fuel burning stove, and other chimneys annually to make sure debris and animals nesting haven’t blocked air flow.
  • Have your furnace and heating equipment inspected annually or according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Use portable generators OUTDOORS at least 20 feet away from your home, and downwind of open vents or doors.
  • Gas and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors, never indoors or in a garage
  • Take a walk – around your home to check and clean all outdoor vents including the dryer vent.

CO is called the silent killer because people cannot smell or see it and the effects of CO mimic flu-like symptoms and make people disoriented.  Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.  For the best protections, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home so that when one sounds, they all sound.

NFPA’s Carbon Monoxide Safety Tip sheet also available in Spanish (CO) and Carbon Monoxide Safety Community Toolkit, are available for free download to use in your Fire and Life Safety education efforts.  

NFPA’s Educational Messages Desk Reference contains the compilation of key FLS messages related to CO and related fire, burn, and hazard prevention messages so that you can tailor your messaging to your audience.  No matter the season, there’s always a reason to include CO education in your efforts!

Follow me on Twitter @AndreaVastis, Sparky the Fire Dog® on Twitter and Facebook and NFPA on Instagram to keep up with the latest in Fire and Life Safety education.

Sign up for the NFPA Network Newsletter
Andrea Vastis
Senior Director, Public Education, public health promotion & education professional passionate about eliminating disparities in access, education and resources.

Related Articles