Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, poisonous gas. It can be produced when combustion of any fuel—heating oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, propane, kerosene, natural gas, coal, or wood—takes place without sufficient oxygen. CO can make you ill or even kill you.
CO can accumulate unnoticed.
Here are some common sources: gasoline engines running indoors, fuel-burning space heating or water heating equipment that is inadequately vented, and blocked chimneys or vent pipes. The only sure way to tell if CO is present is with a UL-listed CO detector.
Prevent CO poisoning.
CO poisoning is 100 percent avoidable if you do the following:
- Have your heating system and any fuel-burning appliances and equipment inspected by a qualified professional every year, preferably before the start of each heating season.
- Periodically check vents, flue pipes, and chimneys yourself for corrosion or blockages.
- Never run your vehicle or fuel-burning equipment in an enclosed space. Don't use barbecue grills indoors; don't use your range or oven as a space heater.
- Buy UL-listed CO detectors and follow the manufacturer's installation and operating instructions.
You can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning through proper appliance installation, maintenance, and use.
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