Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels. Appliances that run on gas, oil, kerosene, wood or coal can produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide exposure can be deadly – and since exposure symptoms mimic other illnesses, people often don’t realize they are being exposed.
Typical symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure include nausea, lightheadedness, headaches or flu-like symptoms. The following steps can help prevent carbon monoxide from poisoning your home. Make sure all combustible appliances are professionally installed and serviced. Don’t operate a portable generator (or any gasoline engine) in an enclosed space such as a basement or garage. Never use a charcoal or gas grill inside your home or garage. Never leave a car running in an attached garage. Never use an oven or clothes dryer to heat your home.
A carbon monoxide detector is the only way to know if dangerous levels of carbon monoxide are present. If your detector goes off, open doors and windows immediately to get fresh air into your home. Call your local fire department and stay in a location that has fresh air until the issue has been resolved.