Check or change the batteries in your CO detector every six months. If you don't
have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO detector, buy one soon.
CO is found in fumes produced in the home by burning wood or coal in a fireplace or wood stove.
It can also be produced by a gas dryer or water heater
CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can
be poisoned and can die from breathing CO.
How to Recognize CO Poisoning
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness,
nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. People who are sleeping or who have
been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms.
Important steps you can take to prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
. Have your wood stove or fireplace cleaned and inspected by a chimney professional
- Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or
partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
- Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine
inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or
windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented.
Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris
can block ventilation lines.
- Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any
gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent
where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
- Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove
inside a home, tent, or camper.
- If conditions are too hot or too cold, seek shelter with friends or at a
- If CO poisoning is suspected, consult a health care professional right
CO poisoning is entirely preventable. You can protect yourself and your
family by having you fireplace, wood stove, dryer vent and water heater vent cleaned and inspected
by a professional and learning the symptoms of CO poisoning.
information provided by National Center for
Environmental Health, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Air
Pollution & Respiratory Health Branch