Carbon Monoxide

Where does it come from?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced from burning any fuel. Any fuel-burning appliance in your home is a possible source of CO. Your car is a source of CO, too.

When appliances and their vents are in good working order, there is little danger from CO. When they don't operate properly, fatal CO concentrations can be produced. Running a car in a garage or using charcoal indoors can also cause CO poisoning.

What does it do?

Carbon monoxide displaces the body's essential oxygen. Besides flu-like symptoms, it can cause vomiting, loss of consciousness, brain damage and eventually, death. Unborn babies, infants, senior citizens or breathing difficulties are especially at risk.

If you feel better....

If symptoms disappear and you feel better when you go outside your home, but symtoms reappear when you go back inside, you may have CO poisoning.



  • Install CO detectors in your home; at least one near sleeping areas, another outside furnace room.
  • Make sure manufacturer's instructions and village building codes are followed when installing fuel-burning appliance.
  • Have your heating system inspected and serviced annually.
  • Follow manufacturer's instructions for safe operation.
  • Inspect chimnets and vents regularly for proper connections, rust or stains.
  • Be aware of any indications that an appliance is not operating properly.
  • If your CO detector activates, open windows, get everyone out and call the fire department.
  • Never burn charcoal indoors or in a garage.
  • Never use a gas oven for heating.
  • Never leave a car running in a garage.
  • Never operate unvented fuel-burning appliances in a closed room.