Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas produced when heating systems are not working correctly. You can't smell, taste or see carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide can build up inside a house because of incomplete combustion and cause severe sickness and even death.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Sudden flu-like illness
  • Dizziness, headaches, sleepiness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fluttering or throbbing heartbeat
  • Cherry-red lips, unusually pale complexion
  • Unconsciousness

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Get the victim out of the house and into fresh air immediately.
  • Call 911 or emergency medical help at once.
  • Get everyone else out of the house.
  • Open the windows.

To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Be alert for the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms and replace them every five years.
  • Never operate internal combustion engines indoors.
  • Never use a charcoal grill indoors.
  • Have all fuel-burning appliances, flues, vents and chimneys checked regularly.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms

Make sure your home is equipped with working CO alarms.

  • In two-story homes, install at least one CO alarm on each level.
  • For added safety, consider installing a CO alarm in each bedroom.
  • If your home has a basement, install a CO alarm at the top of the basement stairs.
  • Change the batteries in CO alarms at the beginning of winter and then every six months.
  • Replace CO alarms older than five years.