As temperatures continue to drop and Daylight Savings Time comes to an end this weekend,
Monroe County Health Department wants to remind residents to take action to prevent carbon
monoxide poisoning. We “fall back” an hour on November 6. When you turn back your clocks,
it’s a good time to put new batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors.
“We tend to see more carbon monoxide poisonings in the cooler months,” said Tiffany Giesler,
Health Officer. “Now is the time for Monroe County residents to make sure their heating
sources and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.”
On average, carbon monoxide poisoning sends about 500 Wisconsinites to the emergency room
each year, according to data from the Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking
Program. These trips to the ER for carbon monoxide poisoning are preventable when people
To protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide, follow these safety tips:
Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors. All single-family duplexes and
homes in Wisconsin are required to have detectors on every level, including the
basement, but not the attic or storage areas. Detectors can be purchased at most
hardware stores for $20-50. Daylight Savings Time changing is a good time each year to
replace the batteries in your detector and push the “Test” button to be sure it’s working
properly. Replace your detector every five years or according to manufacturer’s
Have your furnace or wood-burning stove inspected annually. Hire a professional to
make sure it is functionally sound and vents properly outside the home.
Never run a gasoline or propane heater or a grill (gas or charcoal) inside your home or
garage. Any heating system that burns fuel produces carbon monoxide. Use a battery-
powered detector where you have fuel burning devices but no electric outlets, such as in
tents, cabins, and RVs.
Generators should be run at a safe distance (at least 20 feet) from the home. Never run
a generator in the home or garage, or right next to windows or doors.
Never run a car in an enclosed space. Even with a door or window open, carbon
monoxide levels can still build up to an unsafe level.
At high levels, carbon monoxide can cause death within minutes. Symptoms of overexposure to
carbon monoxide include headache, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and
confusion. If you think you may be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, or your detector
sounds an alarm, head outside immediately for fresh air and call 911.
Visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website and follow the Monroe County
Health Department Facebook page for more information about carbon monoxide poisoning.