What is Carbon Monoxide(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. 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.
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.
To Help Reduce the Risk of CO Poisoning:
- Have a qualified service technician check your propane appliances and venting systems annually, preferably before the heating season.
- Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home.
- Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris can block ventilation lines.
- Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
- Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
- If conditions are too hot or too cold, seek shelter with friends or at a community shelter.
- If CO poisoning is suspected, consult a health care professional right away.Install UL-listed CO detectors on every level of your home.
- Never use portable heaters indoors unless they are designed and approved for indoor use.
- Never use a barbecue grill (propane or charcoal) indoors for cooking or heating.
- Regularly check your appliance exhaust vents for blockage.