Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Media Contact: LARA Communications (517-335-LARA (5272))
April 1, 2021 - As Carbon Monoxide Safety and Awareness Month kicks off today, Orlene Hawks, the director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), reminds Michiganders to take preventative measures to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
"Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal or other fuel," said Hawks. "As a result, carbon monoxide poisoning can happen to anyone if there are no safety measures in place. Take action today to ensure that your home is protected. Being aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and taking preventative measures are the best ways to protect your family."
"Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors save lives," said State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer. "It is imperative that you have a functioning CO detector on every level of your home, near every sleeping area, and more than 12-inches from an interior corner to allow for proper airflow."
The National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Association (NCOAA) recommends that residents change the batteries in CO detectors powered by 9-volt batteries every six months and test the alarms monthly. The NCOAA also recommends that residents using CO detectors powered by 10-year lithium batteries test them monthly and consider replacing the alarm every five to seven years. It is important to check the specific CO alarm to determine the exact lifetime of the product.
To bring attention to this important issue, Governor Whitmer has declared the month of April as Carbon Monoxide Safety Awareness Month.
Each year across the United States, accidental CO poisoning is responsible for at least 50,000 emergency room visits and 430 deaths. Seventy percent of CO poisonings happen in the home, but only 12% of families in the US have properly functioning CO detectors installed in their homes.
Exposure to carbon monoxide may be particularly dangerous for:
Follow these tips to ensure your safety:
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and confusion. At high levels, carbon monoxide can cause death within minutes. If you suspect you may be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, or your detector sounds an alarm, head outside immediately for fresh air and call 911.
CO safety awareness is a top priority in Michigan. Residents are encouraged to visit www.miprevention.org and www.NCOAA.us to learn about this poisonous gas and ensure homes, workplaces, equipment, and appliances are equipped and maintained to protect themselves and loved ones against possible poisoning.