Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide (CO) is often called the invisible killer.


Carbon monoxide (CO) is often called the invisible killer. It’s an odorless, colorless gas created when fuel sources such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, or methane burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of CO.

What You Should Know

CO alarms should be installed in a central location in your home outside each sleeping area and on every level, as well as in locations where required by laws, codes or standards.

Test CO alarms at least once a month, replacing them according to manufacturer’s instructions.

If the CO alarm sounds, move immediately to a fresh air location outside or by an open window or door. Make sure that you have accounted for everyone inside the home.

Do not use your cellphone inside the home to call for help. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive.

Safety Tips

If you need to warm up a vehicle, always remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors (including a generator) even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.

During and after a snowstorm, assure vents for dryers, furnaces, stoves and fireplaces are not obstructed by snow.

Always use a generator in a well-ventilated outdoors location away from windows, doors and vent openings.

Data provided by the National Fire Protection Association.


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