Carbon Monoxide or CO is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and toxic gas that can be produced when fuels such as, gasoline, heating oil, propane, natural gas and even wood are burned incompletely. High levels of CO can be generated by appliances that are defective, improperly installed or maintained. CO can also enter a home if an appliance is not vented properly or a vent or chimney becomes blocked. The use of gas grills, portable heaters or other appliances inside the home with inadequate ventilation (as may occur during power outages) can also produce dangerous levels of CO.
Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath and nausea. In extreme cases brain damage and death can occur. Young children, the elderly, people with heart disease and those under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication are particularly susceptible to CO poisoning. If you suspect CO is present, act immediately!
1) If you or a family member shows physical symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the building and call 911.
2) If it is safe to do so, open windows to allow fresh air in and turn off any appliances which might be releasing the CO.
3) If no one has physical symptoms of CO poisoning but you suspect that CO is present, call the fire department or your service technician to check CO levels and your equipment.