Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly poisonous gas which cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. Signs and symptoms of CO poisoning may include: headaches, sore muscles, confusion, irritability, sleepiness, nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, impaired vision/coordination, fatigue, shortness of breath and death. Appliances and other items that burn fuel may be a source of CO gas (e.g., furnaces, generators, gas oven/stoves, gas dryers, wood stoves, automobile exhaust, fireplaces and lawn equipment). Unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning is common during severe weather conditions and when the heating system is first started every fall.

In addition, never use gasoline powered equipment/generators or tools, kerosene heaters, or charcoal/propane grills inside the house or in enclosed spaces; do not heat the house/ apartment with the stove. During snowstorms, clear any snow accumulation from all outside dryer, heating vents and car mufflers.

If you think you or someone you know is experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, seek medical care immediately. If the carbon monoxide detector is sounding, leave the house immediately and call the gas company or fire department. They will come out to the home and try to find where the carbon monoxide is coming from.

The best treatment is prevention. Have heating ducts, flues and chimneys inspected and cleaned regularly by a professional. Install carbon monoxide detectors in all sleeping areas.

If you have a question about carbon monoxide, remember help is just a phone call away. 800-222-1222.