Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

 What’s invisible, odorless and colorless but can really make you sick? You guessed it—carbon monoxide (CO)! This potentially lethal gas is created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely.

And the danger is no joke—according to the National Safety Council, 200-300 unintentional-injury deaths a year are due to CO poisoning.

Symptoms of CO Poisoning:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Light headedness or headaches


To Protect Against CO Emergencies:

  • Install CO alarms in a central location outside each sleeping area and test monthly.
  • Contact your local fire department to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds. Post the number by your phone.
  • Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and CO alarms.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Don’t run a fuel-burning vehicle or generator indoors, even if garage doors are open. 
  • Only use barbecue grills—which can produce CO—outside. Never use them in the home, garage or near building openings.
  • When camping, remember to use battery-powered lights in tents, trailers, and 
motor homes.


If your CO alarm sounds:

  • Immediately move to a fresh air location and call for help. Remain at the fresh air location until emergency personnel say it is OK.
  • If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries or other trouble indicators.