Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Each year hundreds of people die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and these deaths could probably have been prevented by installing a CO alarm. CO is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is produced by wood, coal, charcoal, natural gas, gasoline, propane, kerosene, oil, methane and other common fuels. CO is produced by automobiles and other gasoline or diesel engines.

Tips / Advice / Information
  • Effective August 1, 2008, Minnesota requires that all existing single family homes shall be equipped with an approved carbon monoxide alarm meeting U/L specifications.
  • A carbon monoxide detector must be installed within 10 feet of any room used for sleeping.
  • All detectors must be hardwired, direct plug in (without a switch) or battery powered. Battery back up is strongly recommended on the electrical detectors.
  • Test your CO alarm once a month (at the same time as you check your smoke detectors) and replace according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Reduce the risk of CO by purchasing appliances with an independent laboratories testing label.
  • Have the appliances professionally installed and maintain the appliances regularly by a qualified service technician.
  • Keep vents, both intake and exhaust clear of obstructions.
  • If you need to warm up a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not let it idle inside an attached garage.
  • Never use an oven to heat your home. This is a fire and a health hazard.
If Your CO Detector Sounds
Exit the building immediately and go where there is fresh air. Do not open doors and windows and try to ventilate the home, leave immediately. Do not re-enter until you have been advised it is safe to do so. Remember, you cannot see, smell, taste or feel carbon monoxide gas. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is very similar to flu like symptoms. Symptoms of possible poisoning are headache, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, or shortness of breath. If you suspect you have CO poisoning seek medical attention right away.