Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that interferes with
the delivery of oxygen in the blood to the body. It is produced from incomplete
combustion of carbon-based fuels including coal, wood, charcoal, natural
and liquid petroleum gases, and fuel oil. Depending on the amount inhaled,
it can cause fatigue, headaches, weakness, nausea, confusion, impede coordination and cardiovascular conditions, and even death where levels are high.
What can be done to prevent CO poisoning
- Ensure appliances are properly adjusted by certified technicians.
- Have annual inspections performed for heating systems and chimney
flues by qualified inspectors.
- Use proper fuels in heaters.
- Do not use ovens and gas ranges to heat your home.
- Do not use charcoal or any other unvented devices in enclosed spaces.
- Make sure stoves and heaters are vented to the outside.
- Never leave any carbon fuel burning devices running inside a shed
What are Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors?
CO detectors can be used as a back-up, but not as a replacement, for proper
use and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances. Technology is still being
developed, and the detectors are not generally considered to be as reliable
as smoke detectors found in homes today. When purchasing CO detectors one
should make sure the device meets Underwriters Laboratories standards.
Detectors should be placed close to sleeping areas and in the vicinity
of any appliances.
If your CO detector goes off, you should:
Check to see if members of your household are experiencing any
If anyone appears to be having symptoms, immediately call 9-1-1
and have everyone exit the structure.
If there are not any health symptoms present, turn off all fuel
burning appliances, open all windows to ventilate the house, and
exit the structure.
Have a qualified technician inspect all fuel-burning appliances
and chimneys to ensure they are operating properly.