Carbon Monoxide Safety
Here’s what you need to know about home carbon monoxide (CO)
Protect yourself and your family from CO poisoning
- Install a CO detector/alarm at the lowest level of your home.
- Never burn charcoal inside a home, garage, vehicle or tent.
- Never use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle or tent.
- Never leave a car running in an attached garage, even with the garage door open.
- Never heat your home with gas appliances such as ranges, ovens or clothes dryers.
- Never operate unvented, fuel-burning appliances in any room with closed doors or windows, or in any room where people are sleeping.
- Do not use gasoline-powered tools and engines indoors.
- Make sure appliances are installed according to manufacturer’s instructions and local building codes. Have the heating system (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually
- Each year in America, approximately 500 people die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and another 15,000 experience a medical emergency as a result of breathing this colorless, odorless, poisonous gas.
- CO is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels, like propane or natural gas, oil, kerosene, coal, or even wood. Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning. Medical experts believe that unborn babies, infants, children, senior citizens and people with heart or lung problems are at even greater risk.
Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms
- Initial CO poisoning symptoms are similar to the flu (but without the fever). In fact, many people mistake CO poisoning for the flu or are misdiagnosed by physicians, resulting in unnecessary deaths.
Know the symptoms of CO poisoning
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness
If you experience any symptoms of CO poisoning
- Evacuate all occupants immediately.
- Determine how many are ill and determine their symptoms.
- Call your fire department and when reporting the emergency, including the number of people feeling ill.
- Do not re-enter the home without the approval of your fire department.
Related topic in our Services section: Smoke Alarm Program.