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Carbon monoxide poisoning is the number one cause of accidental
poisoning deaths in North America. Know the facts.
is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a gas that you can’t see, smell or taste.
It is produced by gas or oil furnaces, space and water heaters,
clothes dryers, ovens, wood stoves and other household appliances
that run on fossil fuels such as wood, gas, oil or coal.
Why is carbon
monoxide so deadly?
When you inhale carbon monoxide, it can cause brain damage, suffocation
or death. Because you cannot see, smell or taste this deadly gas,
poisoning can happen to anyone, any time, anywhere. Everyone is
at risk but pregnant women, young children, senior citizens and
people with heart and lung problems are at greater risk. If your
home is well sealed or not well ventilated, the levels of carbon
monoxide in the air may easily rise to deadly levels.
Carbon monoxide poisoning and the flu seem a lot alike at first.
Early warning signs of low-level poisoning include tiredness, headaches,
dizziness, nausea or vomiting and shortness of breath. Your skin
may also turn pink or red in response to rising blood pressure.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from
carbon monoxide poisoning and should call 9-1-1 as well as talk
to your doctor.
at least one carbon monoxide detector on every level of your
home, especially outside sleeping areas. There are several
types of detectors, including battery-operated and plug-in
models. Install the carbon monoxide detector according to
the manufacturer’s instructions.
qualified service technician inspect and clean your fuel-burning
appliances, furnace, vent pipe and chimney flues once a year.
Birds’nests, twigs and old mortar in chimneys can block
proper ventilation and lead to build-up of carbon monoxide
gas in the home.
Test your carbon monoxide detector regularly to make sure it is
operating properly. The owner’s manual should tell you
how to test your alarm. Remember to check the manual for information
on when to buy a new carbon monoxide detector.
you do if the detector alarm sounds?
If the detector sounds, you and all members of your household should
leave your home immediately. From outside the home, call 9-1-1.
Don’t go back inside until the problem has been found and
corrected. The Fire Services will inspect your home to find the
source of the carbon monoxide.
of fire or an emergency, call 9-1-1.