CARBON MONOXIDE: A Silent Killer
You can't see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. Carbon Monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, and propane burn incompletely.
An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or idling cars left running in garages. Take some basic, precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Have fuel burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves inspected by a trained professional every year.
- Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace. Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
- Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning.
- If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle indoors. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice, or other material.
- Make sure vents for dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
- Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas.