Skip Navigation
Michigan Department of Community HealthMichigan.gov, Official Website for the State of Michigan
Michigan.gov Home
close print view

Power Outage Safety: Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 373-0860

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 3, 2012

LANSING - The Michigan Department of Community Health is urging residents across Michigan who were impacted by strong wind storms to take proper safety precaution if the power is out.

Residents should be very careful when using gas-powered generators, kerosene heaters or other alternative heating or power sources during power outages. If not used safely, they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, tasteless, and odorless gas formed when fuel is burned. The only way to tell if it is present is with a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide can build up to deadly levels within minutes in enclosed spaces.

Warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are flu-like symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion, but not a fever. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause coma and death.

To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning when the power is out:

  • NEVER run a generator inside your house or in your garage, and keep it away from windows and doors. (If theft is a concern, lock it to a tree or fence.)
  • NEVER use charcoal or propane grills or camp stoves indoors.
  • Do not use portable heaters powered by propane or kerosene inside.
  • Always turn off your vehicle in the garage.
  • Place a carbon monoxide detector in the hallway, outside bedrooms, or in all sleeping areas.

Michigan's carbon monoxide poisoning tracking system counted 39 unintentional deaths and 1,340 non-fatal unintentional carbon monoxide poisonings in 2009 alone. More than 60 percent occurred during the winter months and happened most frequently at home.

If you suspect you or a family member has carbon monoxide poisoning, get fresh air immediately and call 911. For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning and poisoning prevention, visit www.michigan.gov/carbonmonoxide.

# # #

Related Content
 •  Three Cases of Enterovirus D68 Confirmed in Michigan
 •  Michigan Raising Awareness of Sickle Cell Disease, Sickle Cell Trait
 •  MDCH Schedules Sixth Public Input Forum on Integrated Care Demonstration
 •  Michigan 4 x 4 Plan Features Residents, Organizations Success Stories on New Blog
 •  Michigan Monitoring for Cases of Enterovirus
 •  MDCH Kicks Off New Flu Vaccination Challenge for College-Age Adults
 •  Residents Encouraged to Replace Potassium Iodide (KI) Stockpile, Expires in October
 •  Michigan 4 x 4 Plan Features Residents, Organizations Success Stories on New Blog
 •  Public Comment Requested on Amendments and Transition Plans for Michigan's MI Choice Waiver and Habilitation Supports Waiver
 •  Haveman steps down as director of the Department of Community Health to focus on his health
 •  Public Comment Requested on Health Assessment of Breathing Chemicals Related to 2010 Kalamazoo River Oil Spill
 •  MDCH Releases Request for Proposals for Health Innovation Grants
 •  Public Comment Requested on Public Health Assessment in Muskegon County
 •  Michigan Recognizes Health Centers Role in Providing Healthcare Services to Residents
 •  Officials Urge Residents to Vaccinate, Protect Against Whooping Cough
 •  Michigan Selected to Join National Project to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse
 •  Statement from MDCH Director James K. Haveman about the Passing of Public Health Leader Jean Chabut
 •  MDCH Explore Lab Science Program to Host Youth Fishing Event in Lansing
 •  Residents Reminded to Consider Health and Safety Risks When Getting Body Art
 •  MDCH Invites Public to Comment on Title V Block Grant Application
QR code

Michigan.gov Home
PoliciesMichigan NewsMichigan.gov Survey

Copyright © 2014 State of Michigan