Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless and odorless gas that is a byproduct of incomplete burning of certain types of fuels, including natural gas, coal, wood, charcoal and kerosene. it is on the hit parade of the the leading causes of poisoning deaths in the U.S.
Back in January 2007, every Illinois home was required by a new law that went into effect on Jan. 1 to have a least one carbon monoxide alarm within 15 feet of every room that is used for sleeping.
There are a couple of exceptions to that rule. If your house does not rely on the burning of fuel for heat, hot water o ventilation and are not connected to a garage and are not rear an external source of CO, then you do not have to install a detector.
My take on it? The detectors are cheap and easy to install. Put one in anyway for your own peace of mind. And if you are listing your home for sale, put detectors in because your buyer's inspector will note if you don't have them.
In addition to installing the detector, have your gas appliance checked for proper operating condition and ventilation. Make sure your fues and chimneys are clear and don't use unvented space heaters, grills, etc. inside the home. And don't run the car inside the garage.
Stay safe out there this winter!