Keeping your family safe from Carbon Monoxide From the National Fie Safety Council, Inc.
"The silent Killer"
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, highly toxic gas that is undetectable to the human senses. Because of this, victims may become disoriented and unable to call for help or unable to get out.
CO can kill in as little as 10 minutes
Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur anywhere--at home, in your car, on your boat, at a public place, or at work.
It is a by product of combustion, present whenever fuel is burned. It is found in, but not limited to:
• anything with a motor
• heating systems and appliances
• Natural or liquefied petroleum (LP) gas
• fire and smoke
• houseboat generators
• cooking appliances and grills
• motorized vehicle exhaust
• propane-powered equipment
• tobacco smoke
2,000 people die and 40,000 others are treated for CO poisoning every year.
Have all fuel- burning appliances installed by a professional according to
manufacturer's instructions and local building codes.
• Inspect and service heating and cooling systems before each season.
• Keep fireplace flue open for adequate ventilation and until embers are
completely burned out.
• Have your chimney inspected by a professional each year before use.
If you notice any damage to the chimney at any time do not use it until
it is inspected.
• Never install or operate gas-burning appliances, furnaces or water
heaters in unvented enclosures.
• Never use a gas range or oven for heating the home.
• Check water heater for improper burner adjustment and low supply of
• If you see a mostly yellow pilot light not positioned upright, call for
Never adjust it yourself.
• Do not store propane tanks indoors.
• Use paint strippers and solvents outdoors or in adequately ventilated
• Methylene chloride converts to carbon monoxide in the body.
• Even with the door open, never use a barbecue grill in the garage or
• Start all gas, diesel or propane powered equipment outside.
The greatest risk for CO poisoning is in your vehicle:
• Never sit in a vehicle that is idling with the windows up, while waiting
for it to heat up.
• Never leave a vehicle idling in an attached garage with or without the
garage door open.
• Fumes can travel fast through the home.
• Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle that is idling for a long
period of time.
• Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by leaves or snow when
leaving a vehicle idling.
• Have your exhaust system checked for holes in the muffler or tail pipe.
• Never allow anyone to ride in the back of an enclosed pickup truck.
Signs of a CO problem:
• Stuffy, stale smelly air; exhaust fume smell; unfamiliar or burning odor.
• Moisture on walls and windows; lint by dryer's exterior vent; soot on
• A furnace that runs constantly but heats inadequately; loose or missing