Carbon monoxide poisoning leads to more than 500 deaths each year. It sends another 15,000 to the emergency room. This colorless, odorless gas can affect you before you’re even aware you’ve been exposed. Since 2011, twenty-six states have created laws that require at least one carbon monoxide detector in a single-family dwelling that possesses a fuel-burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or attached garage. Learn how to stay safe this winter, while still keeping warm, with these tips.

Install a CO alarm near your bedroom. At least one carbon monoxide detector should be installed near your sleeping quarters. Test the alarm to ensure that it’s loud enough to be heard, even while asleep.

Get your heating unit inspected. Hire a qualified heating professional to check your fuel-burning furnaces and appliances at least once per year.

Do not use items that emit CO gas indoors. Never use a power generator, charcoal grill, hibachi, or other item that emits carbon monoxide gas indoors, even if windows and doors are open.

For information about homeowners insurance in California, please contact Randy Jones Insurance, located in Pleasanton.