Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


The bad news: Carbon mon­oxide (CO) cannot be seen, smelled, or heard.

The good news: It can be stopped!

There are several things you can do to keep your family safe from what is often called the “silent killer.” Install CO detectors on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas. Test the detectors once a month to ensure they are working and replace batteries every six months.

CO poisoning is common in the winter months.

  • Never leave your car running in a garage, even if it’s only partially enclosed.
  • Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your house, and ensure vents for dryers, furnaces, stoves, and fireplace are clear of snow.
  • Have gas, oil, or coal-burning appli­ances serviced every year.
  • Check for signs that your appliances may be out of order are: rust on vents, lose or disconnected vent pipes, moisture inside windows, and soot falling from fireplaces or appliances. If you notice any of these signs, have a technician inspect immediately.
  • Make sure you have a CO detector that is working.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizzi­ness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Children generally show signs of poisoning quicker than adults and can often experience more severe side ef­fects. Always play it safe: Evacuate your house immediately if the CO detector sounds and call 911.

For more information about Carbon Monoxide Poisoning please visit the CDC website,