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Posted on: February 16, 2021

Take Steps to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Two types of carbon monoxide alarms

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, and colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. It is created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, charcoal, and petroleum products burn incompletely.

Carbon monoxide alarms alert you and your family when there are dangerous levels of the gas in your home. Alarms can be purchased at any home improvement store.

You should install an alarm within 15 feet of each bedroom, so that it can be heard if you are sleeping. Some homes may need more than one alarm, depending on how many bedrooms there are and where they’re located.

Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when you breathe too much carbon monoxide. What makes carbon monoxide so dangerous is that when you breathe it, it replaces the oxygen in your blood. Without oxygen, cells throughout the body die and the organs stop working.


  • Slight headache or dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of breath
  • Drowsiness or euphoric feeling
  • Confusion or irritability
  • Collapse
  • Unconsciousness


  • Operating poorly maintained or unvented furnaces, boilers, and other fuel-burning equipment
  • Using gas stoves or ovens to heat the home
  • Clogged chimneys and heating exhaust vents
  • Running cars, generators, or gas-powered tools in enclosed areas

If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds, immediately evacuate your home and call 911.


  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms inside your home to provide early warning of carbon monoxide.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
  • Choose a carbon monoxide alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. 
  • Know the difference between the sound of your smoke alarms and the sound of your carbon monoxide alarms.
  • You can get combination alarms for smoke and carbon monoxide if you prefer.

Additional Carbon Monoxide Information

Heating Safety Tips

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