Protect Your Home From Carbon Monoxide and Radon
Carbon monoxide (CO) gases are created when heating elements that use natural gas, propane, wood, or oil do not completely burn off their fuels.
Sources of CO include:
- Charcoal grills
- Gas-fired appliances
- Motor vehicles
- Wood-burning furnaces or fireplaces
Radon is a radioactive gas which occurs naturally inside the earth. Outdoors, radon is dispersed in the air and generally, causes no harmful effects. If there are cracks or holes in the foundation of a building, radon can become trapped inside. According to the American Cancer Society, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking.
- Pain or tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
The effects of exposure to both gases can vary depending on age, health and the length of exposure. Since it is impossible to see, taste or smell both toxic fumes, it’s critical to test for these gases inside your home.
Install Testing Kits
Installing alarms is a homeowner’s best line of defense against carbon monoxide and/or radon exposure. Testing kits and detectors can be purchased at your local hardware store or online.
When you are ready to install your testing kits:
- Install detectors in centralized areas of your home to ensure the alarms can be heard in each room
- Replace sensors and batteries according to the manufacturer’s recommendations
- Perform routine tests on all detectors to ensure they are working properly
My Alarm Went Off: Now What?
If no one is feeling ill:
- Silence the alarm
- Turn off all appliances and heating sources
- Open doors and windows to ventilate the house
- Contact a professional to conduct an inspection
If illness is a factor:
- Evacuate immediately
- Determine how many occupants are ill and their symptoms
- Go to an emergency room or call 911
- Do not re-enter the home without approval from the fire department or a professional
- Contact your heating service to repair the gas leak
How to Prevent CO and Radon Poisoning
- Never use an oven to heat your home
- Seal any cracks in your home/building's foundation
- Have a professional inspect all fuel systems regularly
- Never keep your vehicle running in a garage, even with the door open
For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning, contact the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services at 800-648-6942.
For more information on radon, contact the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) at 800-723-6642 (800-RADONGAS).