Carbon monoxide (C) is an odorless and colorless gas that can cause severe illness or death. It is produced any time fossil fuels are burned. During a power outage, using gas generators or outdoor grills in carports or too close to the home can trap CO in the house and cause Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Other possible sources of CO include small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, gas ranges, and heating systems.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 430 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in the US every year. And each year, around 500,000 people go to the emergency department from CO poisoning.
Keep safe from carbon monoxide poisoning. 1. Do not use items that produce carbon monoxide inside your home or garage or outside an open window.
2. Never use gas ovens to heat your home, even briefly.
3. If you use a fireplace or wood stove, ensure that chimneys and flues are in good condition and are not blocked.
4. Never idle a car in a garage, even when the garage door is open.
5. Ensure carbon monoxide alarms are installed on every level of your home and outside every sleeping area. Test your CO and smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
If your home CO alarm beeps continuously without stopping, it could indicate that carbon monoxide is present. If your CO alarm is sounding constantly and you have signs of CO poisoning, such as dizziness, headache, vomiting, or flu-like symptoms, find fresh air and call 9-1-1 immediately.