Carbon Monoxide Safety in the Garage

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a silent, odorless, and invisible killer, which is why carbon monoxide detectors are so important to the safety of you and your family. But it’s not just burning fuel sources inside your home that could pose a risk, but also inside your garage. Let’s look at some safety tips and things to consider when it comes to carbon monoxide safety in the garage.

Sources of carbon monoxide in the garage

The main risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in your garage comes from your car or any other vehicle you park inside your garage. Internal combustion engines produce carbon monoxide, which is usually released into the air. But when this occurs in an enclosed space, like your garage, the gas can’t dissipate enough and starts to build up inside your garage space, posing a serious risk of CO poisoning.

So, you should never leave your car running inside your garage, even if you’re just warming it up for a minute or two before driving out.

CO risks: attached garages and hybrid cars

There are certain circumstances that can create greater risks when it comes to carbon monoxide in the garage. The first consideration is whether your garage is detached or attached to your home.

If dangerous levels of CO are released from your car into your detached garage, and then you drive off to work all day, the gas should dissipate and not cause any harm unless someone enters the garage. Whereas the same situation in an attached garage can cause the gas to slowly seep into your house, making the air toxic to anyone who’s at home during the day – your partner, pets, kids. Make sure you regularly test your carbon monoxide detectors and change the batteries as needed to keep you and your family safe.

Another risk is accidentally leaving your car running once you return home and park in the garage. Hybrid and electric cars run much more quietly than traditional cars, and both traditional cars and hybrid cars use internal combustion engines. So, you need to be much more vigilant if you drive a hybrid car that you park in your garage. It may be easier to forget to turn the engine off due to how quietly they run, while they are still giving off dangerous fumes.

Should you install a carbon monoxide detector in your garage?

The logical solution is to install a CO detector inside your garage, but this is actually not recommended. This is because the fluctuation between cold and humid conditions in your garage can cause the detector to stop working. Your car may also set off the detector every time you start it or drive into the garage, even if you are safe.

Make sure you know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and install adequate CO detectors inside your home that you check regularly. Get in touch for more garage safety tips and garage door repair and maintenance around North Carolina.