What is carbon monoxide (aka CO)?

You can’t taste or smell CO, but it is a very dangerous gas. High levels of CO can come from appliances that are not operating correctly, or from a venting system or chimney that becomes blocked.

CO can be deadly

High levels of CO can make you dizzy or sick. In extreme cases, CO can cause brain damage or death. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and nausea. CO detectors can improve safety. For an extra measure of safety, consider installing a CO detector listed by UL on each level of your home.

6 tips to help reduce the risk of CO poisoning

  1. Have a qualified service technician check your propane appliances and venting systems annually, preferably before the heating season.
  2. Install UL-listed CO detectors on every level of your home.
  3. Never use a gas oven or range-top burners to provide space heating.
  4. Never use portable heaters indoors unless they are designed and approved for indoor use.
  5. Never use a barbecue grill (propane or charcoal) indoors for cooking or heating.
  6. Regularly check your appliance exhaust vents for blockage.

If you suspect CO is present, act IMMEDIATELY

  • If you or a family member shows physical symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the building and call 911 or your local fire department.
  • If it is safe to do so, open windows to allow entry of fresh air, and turn off any appliances you suspect may be releasing CO.
  • If no one has symptoms, but you suspect that CO is present, call your propane retailer or a qualified service technician to check CO levels and your propane equipment.

Information courtesy of Propane Education & Research Council.

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