You can't see it, taste it,
or smell it, but low levels of carbon monoxide can
make you sick and high levels can kill.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an
invisible, odorless gas that can escape from any
fuel-burning appliance, such as a gas furnaces,
water heaters and stoves, fireplace, wood stove,
chimney or space heater. It can also be created by
an automobile idling in a closed or attached garage.
The following steps can
reduce exposure to carbon monoxide
- Keep gas appliances properly
- Use a vented space heater
- Use proper fuel in kerosene
- Install and use an exhaust fan
vented to outdoors over gas stoves.
- Open flues when fireplaces are
- Make sure the doors on wood
stoves fit tightly.
- Have a trained professional
inspect, clean, and tune-up furnaces, flues, and
chimneys annually; and repair any leaks promptly.
- Do not idle the car inside
- Never burn charcoal inside a
home, garage, vehicle, or tent.
- Never use portable fuel-burning
camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle,
- Install a carbon monoxide
How to protect yourself
- Have a qualified appliance
technician check all fuel burning appliances,
furnaces, venting and chimney system at least once
a year or as recommended by the manufacturer
- Install at least one audible
carbon monoxide alarm near your sleeping area.
- Choose an alarm that is
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. listed. Look for
the UL logo on the package.
How carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide alarms sound based
on exposure to carbon monoxide over time. They are
designed to sound an alarm before an average,
healthy adult would experience symptoms. Remember --
it is the concentration of carbon monoxide over time
that poses a threat.
If the CO alarm goes off
- DO NOT panic
- Press the test/silence button
to temporarily quiet the alarm.
- Move everyone to a source of
- Call 911
- Leave the CO alarm where it is.
- Do not re-enter your home until
the emergency responder has arrived, your home is
aired out and your CO alarm returns to normal
Common symptoms of CO poisoning
- Flu-like symptoms