Carbon Monoxide Dangers


Odorless, colorless, and tasteless--carbon monoxide (CO) can float through your home without your sensing it. This deadly gas replaces oxygen in your blood, damaging body tissue and killing cells.

Carbon monoxide poisoning results in confusion, headaches, vomiting, and nausea. Serious cases may cause seizures and even death. Telltale signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are bright red lips and skin.

You can protect your family from CO in your home.

  • Install inexpensive CO detector-alarms, available at hardware and department stores.
  • Get all fuel-burning venting systems, available at hardware and department stores.
  • Get all fuel-burning venting systems, chimney flues, and gas appliances inspected annually.
  • Make sure all gas appliances have adequate ventalation.
  • Never use an oven or gas range to heat your home.
  • Don't run any cars in your garage unless the outside doors are open and doors connecting to your home are closed.
  • If you suspect CO gas in your home, evacuate everyone immediately. Then phone your local emergency assistance number from another location so that fire, police, and emergency technicians can help.

    IF YOU RENT...

    Here's a case that shows why renters should install CO-detector alarms too.

    When apartment residents complained of CO exposure from a gas water heater, management immediately notified the installation/service company to make repairs. Three weeks later, but before the company's technicians came to inspect, the complex was evacuated because of CO. Two renters were found unconscious in their bedroom, directly over the gas heater. The husband suffered disabling brain and heart damage, and the wife also suffered severe injuries.

    The couple sued the apartment's management, their service firm, and the gas utility for negligently installing and servicing the heater. Parties settled claims before trial, with the defendants admitting their culpability in failing to provide a safe rental premises.