Carbon Monoxide Dangers

Carbon Monoxide Dangers

Carbon monoxide (CO) which is produced whenever fuels such as gasoline, natural gas, coal or wood are burned can be a silent killer. We are all exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide when we are around running vehicles and engines, fireplaces, campfires and other sources of combustion. If this occurs outdoors or in a well‐ventilated area it’s usually not a problem. However larger doses of CO can be fatal. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning the following precautions should be taken:

  • Never run a vehicle or gasoline or diesel powered engine in an enclosed space unless the exhaust is vented directly outside.
  • Leaving a vehicle running in a home garage, even with an open door can still potentially cause carbon monoxide poisoning. If you must run a vehicle to warm it, do it outside.
  • Make sure there are no holes in your vehicle’s exhaust system or floorboards to prevent carbon monoxide from entering the cab.
  • If you experience headaches, nausea, confusion or other similar symptoms and there is an engine, furnace, fireplace or other combustion source operating go outside immediately and seek medical assistance.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home if you have natural gas‐powered water heaters, furnaces or fireplaces and inspect vent stacks and chimneys on a regular basis to make sure they aren’t blocked or damaged.
  • Test CO monitors at least once a month and replace in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Running a vehicle that is stuck in a snowbank, mud or dirt can cause CO to enter the vehicle if the exhaust or tailpipe is blocked.
  • During and after snowstorms make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow build up
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