What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, and toxic gas and is toxic to both pets and humans. Because it is impossible to see, taste, or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home. Low levels of Carbon Monoxide will cause symptoms that mimic the flu. Usually, you will experience:

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Signs, Symptoms, and Complications

According to the Centers for Disease Control, carbon monoxide is the most common cause of poisoning death in the United States. Unintentional CO exposure accounts for an estimated 50,000 emergency department visits and 430 unintentional deaths in the United States each year.

Sources of Carbon Monoxide

  • Automobile exhaust from attached garages
  • Back-drafting from furnaces
  • Chimney flues and fireplaces
  • Defective furnaces
  • Gas stoves
  • Gas water heaters
  • Gasoline-powered equipment
  • Generators
  • Oil or kerosene heaters
  • Unvented kerosene or gas space heaters
  • Wood stoves

Show All Answers

1. What is carbon monoxide?
2. What do I do if I suspect I have symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
3. How can I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?
4. What is a carbon monoxide detector?
5. Where should carbon monoxide detectors be installed?
6. What should I do if the alarm sounds?
7. How much do Carbon Monoxide Detectors cost?