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Carbon Monoxide: Knowing the Dangers

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that you cannot see, taste or smell. The danger of carbon monoxide increases during the winter months because fuel-powered devices are used more frequently. Carbon monoxide poisoning may result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or cars left running in garages. 

Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms include headache, nausea and drowsiness. Each year, more than 180 children in the United States die due to carbon monoxide poisoning, and more than 20,000 children visit the emergency room.

Consider these safety tips to protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Install carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas, and keep them at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms, and vice versa. Combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are available.
  • When warming up your vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting the engine. Don’t leave a car, SUV or motorcycle engine running inside a garage.