Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death when inhaled.  Each year in the United States, more than 400 people die as a result of CO poisoning.

Carbon Monoxide is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel.  It is produced from many household items including furnaces (gas and oil burning), portable generators, grills (charcoal and gas), fireplaces, gas heaters, gas camp stoves/lanterns,  gas engines including; cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATV, snowmobiles, and campers/RV’s.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.  In sleeping or alcohol/drug impaired persons, it can cause death before any symptoms are noticed.  If Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is suspected, Call 911 Immediately.

Proven Safety Tips

  • Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home, garage, & workshop.
  • Get a portable CO detector for your car/truck, RV/camper, and fishing/hunting shack.
  • Check your detector monthly, and replace the battery the same time you change the clocks; spring & fall.
  • If you routinely use gas powered tools/generators etc. purchase a CO detector for your garage/workshop.
  • Annually check your heating/cooling system, water heater and other gas/coal/oil appliances.
  • Have the exhaust on all vehicles checked annually.
  • Have your chimney, fireplace, and burning stoves checked annually.
  • Never use any gas powered engine inside your home, basement, or garage.
  • Never use a generator within 20 feet of your home, doors, or windows.
  • Never use a grill (charcoal or gas), hibachi, lantern, or cook stove inside your house, tent, or camper.
  • Never use any grill or stove to heat your home in a power outage.  
  • Do not run any vehicle in a closed structure.  Open The Door
  • If you breakdown in your vehicle make sure the exhaust is not blocked, if you leave the car running.
  • Make sure your hunting/fishing shack is properly vented, especially once snow gets packed around it.

When Buying A CO Detector, Look For The Following:

  • Battery operated or battery back-up
  • Early warning system
  • Digital readout
  • One that displays low levels
  • One that alarms when the level becomes unsafe  

Local Resources:  Your Medical Provider, Hardware/Appliance Stores, Furnace/Appliance Repair Service, Mechanic and your Local Fire Department.

Resources used in this article:  www.cdc.gov


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