Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Poisoning

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Every year in the United States over 200 people die and another 10,000 are seen at hospitals for carbon monoxide poisoning.

carbon monoxie


What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and tasteless poisonous gas. It is produced by the incomplete combustion of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. Appliances fueled with natural gas, liquefied petroleum (LP gas), oil, kerosene, coal and wood produce CO. Running your cars or other gas powered engines, also produce CO.

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation

What should you do to prevent CO poisoning?

  • Install a CO detector/alarm that meets the requirements of the current UL standard 2034 or the requirements of the IAS 6-96 standard in the hallway near every separate sleeping area of the home and on every floor.
  • Never use portable gas or charcoal to heat or cook with inside a home.
  • Never leave a car running in a garage, even with the garage door open.
  • Make sure appliances are installed and maintained according to manufacturer's instructions and local building codes. 

carbon monoxide

What should you do if you are experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning?

Get to fresh air immediately and call 911.

What should you do if your CO detector/alarm is sounding?

Never ignore an alarming CO detector/alarm. Call 911. Immediately move to fresh air.

Features to Look for in CO Detectors

  • Stops automatically when fresh air clears CO.
  • Manual reset button and test button.
  • Digital warning light and light to indicate power is on.
  • Horn that sounds 85 decibels.
  • Approval from a testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory.
  • Plug-in models should have a power cord that is least 6 feet long.