Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, toxic gas. When inhaled, CO interferes with the blood's ability to absorb and transport oxygen. Exposure to high amounts of CO can cause unconsciousness, brain damage and death.
Common signs to watch for include flu-like symptoms, headaches, nausea, dizziness drowsiness, confusion and even loss of consciousness.
Carbon Monoxide is a byproduct of combustion, present whenever a fuel, such as natural gas is burned. It is produced by common home appliances such as furnaces, hot water heaters, gas ranges/ovens, fireplaces, gas dryers, and wood burning stoves/fireplaces. Protect your family by having registered contractors service natural gas appliances, ensure outside air ducts, exhaust vents, etc. allow a free flow of air, read and keep manufacturer's operating maintenance manuals, always keep furnace fan compartment doors and/or the filter access panel in place, and if you have an open wood-burning fireplace, make sure the damper is open partially. A CO alarm offers extra protection but is not a substitute for regular maintenance and inspection.