All About Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, colorless gas found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars, trucks, small engines, grills, fireplaces, stoves, furnaces, or gas ranges. It can build up indoors, poisoning anyone who breathes it in, and can even result in death.

3d rendering smoke detector on ceiling carbon monoxide detector

Signs/Symptoms of CO Poisoning

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, shortness of breath, blurred vision, and confusion. The symptoms are often described as flu-like. It can be particularly dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated when exposed. They may have irreversible brain damage or die before symptoms even occur.

Risk Factors

Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning, but exposure to carbon monoxide may be particularly dangerous for some. This includes unborn babies, children, older adults, and those who have chronic heart disease. Depending on the degree and length of exposure, CO poisoning can cause permanent brain damage, damage to the heart and possibly leading to life-threatening cardiac complications, fetal death or miscarriage, or death.

Prevent CO Poisoning in Your Home

Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home and put one in the hallway near each sleeping area in your house so it will wake you up if it alarms. Check the batteries at least twice a year; a good rule of thumb is to check them each time you check your smoke detector batteries or when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Replace your CO detector every five years.

You must use gas appliances as recommended. Never use a portable gas camp stove indoors. This can cause carbon monoxide to build up inside your home, cabin, or camper. Use fuel-burning space heaters when someone’s awake to monitor them, with doors or windows open to let in fresh air. Do not run a generator in an enclosed space, like a basement or garage. 

Joseph Frederick & Sons

Joseph Frederick & Sons can provide you with CO alarms to protect you and your family from dangerous levels of CO in your home. A CO monitor and alarm is necessary to detect the presence of carbon monoxide since it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Contact us today to learn more about our indoor air quality solutions.