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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention

Photo: Qualified technician inspecting heating system
Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by having your fuel-burning appliances serviced annually and by installing a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector. Check or change its batteries each time you change your clocks.

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March. When you set your clock ahead one hour, remember to check or change the batteries in your battery-operated carbon monoxide (CO) detector. Each year unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires kills about 500 Americans and poisons at least 15,000.

You can protect your family and prevent CO poisoning by taking just a few simple steps:

Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.

Photo: Carbon Monoxide Detector

Install a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911.

Don’t burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.

Don't run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.

Don’t heat your house with a gas oven.

Never use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.

Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous.

To learn more and read carbon monoxide prevention guidelines in 16 additional languages, visit

Page last reviewed: March 7, 2008
Page last updated: March 7, 2008
Content source: NCEH Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch
Content owner: National Center for Health Marketing
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