What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled and can kill an individual within minutes of contact. Carbon monoxide can quickly build to unsafe levels in enclosed or poorly ventilated areas.
What Are Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, confusion and nausea. Low-level carbon monoxide poisoning can include symptoms similar to illnesses such as the flu.
As these may be difficult symptoms to diagnose, they could be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning if:
- Symptoms go away when you leave your home, and come back when you return.
- Everyone in the home experiences similar symptoms at the same time.
What Should You Do if You Suspect a Carbon Monoxide Leak in Your Home?
If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak in your home, gather your family outside in the fresh air and immediately call 911.
- During power outages, never use charcoal or gas grills indoors or in enclosed spaces. Do not burn charcoal in a fireplace, as charcoal does not produce a draft strong enough to push the carbon monoxide outside.
- Never use a generator inside your home, garage, carport, basement, or near an opening into your home while outside. Generators should be kept at least 20 feet from buildings in the hope that airflow will direct carbon monoxide flows away from the home.
- Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home and do not sleep in a room using an unvented gas or kerosene heater.