Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas, created when fossil fuels are not burned completely. CO-related incidents can involve blocked furnace/boiler vents and chimneys, improperly adjusted or poorly-maintained appliances or car exhaust.
How to Detect Carbon Monoxide
Warning signs of CO in your home can include stuffy, stale air; lingering pungent odor; window condensation; back drafts from a fireplace, furnace or water-heating chimney; soot; yellow burner flames (except from natural gas fireplaces and logs) and burner flames or pilot lights that flutter or keep going out. If you detect these warning signs, turn off the equipment, air out the building and call a licensed natural gas contractor to have the equipment inspected.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that you place CO detectors outside of each bedroom of your home. The Commission also recommends installing smoke alarms on each level of your house and inside every bedroom. For both types of detectors, check the batteries every month and change them at least twice a year.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Symptoms of CO poisoning can include dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headaches, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, stinging eyes and fainting. If you suspect CO poisoning, leave the building immediately and call 911 from a safe location.