What is Carbon Monoxide? And How You Can Protect Yourself

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. It’s produced by the incomplete burning of fuels like natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal or wood due to inadequate air.
Improperly installed or poorly maintained appliances that run on these fuels can create unsafe levels of CO. In enclosed spaces like your home, cottage or vehicle, even a small amount of CO is dangerous.

What are the Symptoms of CO poisoning?

Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness and even loss of consciousness. In severe cases, it can cause brain damage and death.

Older persons, children, people with heart or respiratory conditions and pets may be more sensitive to it, and feel the effects earlier than others.

Why is Carbon Monoxide So Deadly?

Because you cannot see, smell or taste it, poisoning can happen to anyone, any time, anywhere. That is why carbon monoxide is often referred to as the “Silent Killer.”

How Can You Protect Yourself in the Home?

  1. Regular maintenance and cleaning of all fuel burning appliances by a qualified technician at least once a year.
  2. Regular inspections and cleaning by a qualified technician of all vent pipes and chimney flues at least once a year.
  3. Install at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home, preferably on the same level as bedrooms.