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Five carbon monoxide detection & prevention tips

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According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning kills at least 430 people in the United States every year. Also, approximately 50,000 people visit emergency care centers from accidental CO poisoning. 

Those are some sobering statistics. However, by understanding what generates CO, knowing the signs of CO poisoning, and taking a few preventative steps in your home, you can help keep yourself and your family safe.

What is CO?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and colorless gas that is found in fumes from a number of sources, including:

  • Furnaces/boilers
  • Portable generators
  • Kerosene heaters
  • Gas ranges
  • Fireplaces
  • Grills
  • Motor vehicles 

Because you can’t smell or see it, CO can accumulate inside your home undetected until somebody shows signs of poisoning.

What are the signs of CO poisoning?

Warning signs of CO poisoning include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • chest pain
  • confusion

If you or a loved one are showing signs of CO poisoning, call 911 or an emergency health care professional immediately.

Five carbon monoxide detection & prevention tips

  • Install CO detectors on every level of your home and near sleeping areas – either battery-powered or hard-wired with a battery backup
  • Test your CO detectors every six months
  • Never run a generator, gas-powered pressure washer or any other gas engines inside your home or garage
  • Keep gas-powered engines running outside your home at least 20 feet from open windows, doors or air-intake vents
  • Schedule annual service on fuel-burning items in your home, including furnaces, boilers, ranges and fireplaces

When it comes to CO safety, your local Carrier HVAC contractor can be a great place to start. Annual maintenance of any gas- or oil-burning HVAC equipment is recommended not just for proper operation and safety, but also for comfort and potential energy savings.