Definition of Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that cannot be heard, seen, smelled, or tasted. This has led to it being nicknamed the silent killer.
Origins of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a by-product of incomplete combustion, and can be given off by malfunctioning appliances that burn fossil fuels and do not have adequate ventilation to remove the carbon monoxide.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Early signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are flu-like symptoms including nausea, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, confusion, burning eyes, and loss of muscle control. Carbon monoxide poisoning often causes a victim's blood pressure to rise, turning the victim's skin a pink or red cast.
Steps to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
You can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning through the following steps:
Locations to Install a Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- Avoid using charcoal or propane grills in a home, tent, trailer. or unventilated garage.
- Do not run vehicles inside an attached garage even with the door open.
- Ensure all fuel-burning appliances are properly ventilated.
- Have a qualified service professional inspect your fuel-burning appliances yearly.
- Install a ULC / CSA approved carbon monoxide alarm near all fuel-burning appliances.
Carbon monoxide is roughly the same weight as air so it will mix evenly throughout a room, so an alarm can be installed at any height in a room.
Lifespan of a Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Carbon monoxide alarms are good for anywhere from 2-10 years so consult your owner’s manual to see when your alarm will need to be replaced.