Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure

About Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced by the incomplete burning of fuels. Appliances fueled by natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LP), oil, kerosene, coal or wood, if not installed properly or inspected and serviced annually, can produce CO gas.

Each year over 200 people die from CO gas produced by fuel-burning appliances and several thousand people go to hospital emergency rooms for treatment. The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu without a fever. These symptoms include: 

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath

CO Law - Statute 299F.50

The 2006 legislative session passed a new CO law, Minnesota Statute 299F.50, requiring all single-family homes and multi-family apartment units to be equipped with a CO alarm. Starting January 1, 2007, all new or remodeled homes or apartment units are required to install a CO alarm. All existing homes are required to install a CO alarm by August 1, 2008. Multi-family or apartment units are required to provide a CO alarm by August 1, 2009, unless there is minimal or no sources of CO gas.

CO alarms should be UL listed and located within ten feet of each room used for sleeping purposes. To see the state requirements, visit the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s website. On the bottom left side of the page, click on “Home Safety” to view the requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation. 

Other Recommendations to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Never burn charcoal inside a home, garage, vehicle, or tent.
  • Never use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle, or tent.
  • Never leave a car running in an attached garage, even with the garage door open.
  • Never use fuel-burning appliances such as a stove or clothes dryer for heating your home.
  • Do not use gasoline-powered tools and engines indoors.

If you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms of CO poisoning, leave the house immediately, call 911, and report your symptoms.