Michigan carbon monoxide

Does Michigan Require Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Homes

For new construction, the Michigan Residential Code requires dwelling units that have fuel-fired appliances and have an attached garage to install carbon monoxide alarms.  Michigan Construction Code states that if the dwelling requires a carbon monoxide alarm, they must be near the bedrooms; in areas of the dwelling that are adjacent to an attached garage; and in areas adjacent to a fuel-burning appliance.  Existing homes require a Carbon Monoxide Detector if you get a building permit for any work at an existing dwelling that has fuel-fired appliances and an attached garage 

What causes Carbon Monoxide in your home

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and toxic gas and is toxic to both pets and humans. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes can kill you before you are aware it is in your home.  Low levels will cause symptoms that mimic the flu. Usually, you will experience headaches, confusion, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. According to the Center for Disease Control, carbon monoxide is the most common cause of poisoning death in the United States. Unintentional CO exposure accounts for an estimated 20,000 emergency department visits and 400 accidental deaths in the United States each year.

Biggest sources of Carbon Monoxide

  • Unvented kerosene and gas space heaters
  • Chimney flues and Fireplaces
  • Defective furnaces
  • Oil or Kerosene heaters
  • back-drafting from furnaces
  • gas water heaters
  • Wood Stoves
  • gas stoves; generators and other gasoline-powered equipment;
  • automobile exhaust from attached garages

What to do if you suspect you have carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Get Fresh Air (open the windows or doors or go outside immediately)
  • Go to the hospital and tell them that you may have carbon monoxide poisoning

Do not try to stay in your home for an extended amount of time without getting fresh air first.  At higher levels, carbon monoxide can lead to a loss of consciousness, reduce brain function, or you may lapse into a coma and even death.

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Install a battery-operated detector and make sure you change your batteries at least twice a year.  You should also change your smoke detector batteries. Usually, the best time to do this is when you change your clocks for daylight savings time.
  • Make sure you maintain a detector on each level of your house.
  • Have your furnace and gas appliances checked at least once a year.  Follow your furnace guidelines and replace the filter at least every three months. Check your vents and ducts for signs of defects.
  • If you regularly use your fireplace, have it cleaned out annually, and when you use your fireplace, make sure that you keep the flue open.
  • Don’t leave your car running inside a garage, but If you do raise your door to vent the exhaust fumes outside.
  • Don’t use a charcoal grill or a fire pit indoors.

Remember, carbon monoxide poisoning resembles the flu if more than one person is exhibiting the same symptoms to get fresh air.  Also, if you have a pet and they are showing the same signs and seem sluggish, that is an indicator that you may have carbon poisoning because pets can’t get the flu virus. Daylight Savings Time is an excellent time to change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and your smoke detectors.

Finally, for more valuable safety information for protecting your home, read about the Hazards of having a fuse box in your Michigan home