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Carbon Monoxide Exposure Signs & Symtoms
  • Despite common belief, carbon monoxide is not actually heavier than air. It can be found anywhere in the home from the basement to the attic​

​Effects of CO on Humans & Animals

  • Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause flu-like symptoms including headaches, dizziness, nausea, and increased heart rate
  • Long term exposure to small amounts or short term exposure to large amounts of CO can cause the above symptoms and escalate further to unconsciousness and death



















Difference Between CO & CO2

CO - Carbon Monoxide

  • Product of incomplete combustion
  • Produced by fuel burning appliances and vehicles
  • Is an asphyxiant, which means:
    • Oxygen is still able to reach the lungs but the CO prevents the oxygen from being used
    •  The hemoglobin in your blood is more attracted to the CO than the oxygen, causing a lack of oxygen in the body

​CO2 - Carbon Dioxide

  • ​A byproduct of humans/animals breaking down foods at the cellular level
  • Is exhaled by humans & animals during normal breathing
  • ​Is heavier than air
  • ​Large volumes can displace the oxygen in the air not allowing oxygen to reach the lungs
  • Is incredibly unlikely to be found in excessive amounts and cause problems in a residential setting

Sources of CO

  • Carbon monoxide is normally produced by fuel burning appliances & vehicles and is normally ventilated safely to the outside
  • Examples of fuels that are commonly burnt include: gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane, kerosene, propane wood, etc.
  • Appliances that can produce CO include: Furnaces, Water Heaters, Dryers, Barbecues, Gas Stoves, Fire Places, Vehicles, Gas Powered Yard Equipment, Generators, etc.
  • ​When ventilation systems fail, are blocked or can't handle the volume or CO, it can start to back-up into the house, causing a buildup
  • Running gas powered vehicles and equipment near windows and doors can also cause CO to drift into the home
















Preventing Exposure to CO

  • Have gas-fueled appliances such as furnaces and water heaters inspected by a trained, licensed professional
  • Ensure there is no clutter around your furnace. Clutter is not only a fire hazard but also limits air flow into the furnace, creating a less efficient burn
  • Have your chimney swept, especially if you use a wood burning stove
  • Never run a vehicle or other fuel powered engine in a garage, even if the door is open. Move the vehicle outside immediately after starting it
  • Keep generators outside and away from doors and windows
  • Never barbecue or use a gas heater indoors
  • Ensure outside vents for the furnace, stove, fireplace, and dryer are clear of snow, ice and other obstructions
  • ​Place CO alarms throughout your home to alert you if carbon monoxide begins to buildup inside

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

  • Install alarms outside each sleeping area, on every level of your home and in key area such as near the furnace and entrance to the garage
  • There are many alarms to choose from. It does not matter the type you get, as long as it's listed by a qualified testing laboratory such as UL
  • It is recommended that you purchase combination smoke/CO alarms that are interconnected. That way, when one sounds, they all will sound
  • If you hear a CO alarm sound, get outside and call 911. Remain outside until emergency crews say it's safe to return indoors. Do not try to ventilate the house by opening windows and doors
  • Carbon Monoxide alarms rarely false. If your alarm is going off, chances are you have CO in your house
  • Test your alarms monthly and replace them when they expire. If they are battery operated, replace the batteries twice annually




Sources of Carbon Monoxide

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Carbon Monoxide (CO)

What is Carbon Monoxide?

  • A gas that is created when a fuel isn't burnt completely. This can result from insufficient heat or oxygen in the combustion process
  • CO is colorless, tasteless and odorless, making it undetectable by the human senses. This is the reason it is sometimes referred to as "The Silent Killer"

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