WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE?
Carbon Monoxide is a product of incomplete combustion. Any appliance that has a flame produces Carbon Monoxide (CO). Typical fuel burning appliances in a home are FURNACES, WATER HEATERS, STOVES/RANGES and CLOTHES DRYERS. Other sources in a home could be fire places as well.
WHAT CAUSES CO IN MY HOME?
Carbon Monoxide is naturally occurring in the atmosphere and home. Dangerous levels of CO in a home may be caused by any malfunctioning fuel burning appliance.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE CO POISONING?
Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless. This makes it extremely difficult to detect. ALL homes should have a CO detector. Not all smoke detectors are COMBINATION CO/Smoke alarm. VERIFY THAT YOUR ALARM IS A CO OR COMBINATION CO/SMOKE ALARM. If your alarm is labeled CO it is equipped, if not, it is ONLY SMOKE ALARM CAPABLE. It is recommended to have one (1) detector per floor preferably at or near sleeping rooms.
Symptoms of CO poisoning are:
MILD EXPOSURE: Slight headache, Nausea, vomiting and fatigue
MEDIUM EXPOSURE: Severe throbbing headache, drowsiness, confusion and fast heart rate.
EXTREME EXPOSURE: Unconsciousness, convulsions, cardio respiratory failure and death.
HOW DO I AVOID CO EXPOSURE?
Have all fuel burning appliances inspected by a certified technician yearly.
Install and Maintain CO detectors in home by replacing batteries every year.
NEVER use portable generators, outdoor cook tops or portable heaters in ANY unventilated portion of your home. Be mindful of placement outdoors as well, CO fumes may enter home through openings. Do not operate or “warm up” vehicle in garage, as fumes may enter home. Always pull vehicle to well ventilated area while running.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY ALARM SOUNDS?
IMMIDIATELY MOVE TO FRESH AIR AND CALL 911