Winthrop Harbor Fire Department Winthrop Harbor Fire Department

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas, which is colorless, tasteless and odorless. Anything that burns fuel has the potential to produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide gas. In addition to your automobile, common home appliances/items which produce carbon monoxide include:

  • Gas furnaces
  • Fireplaces
  • Gas ovens
  • Gas water heaters
  • Gas cloths dryers
  • Yard equipment (such as lawnmowers, edgers, gas trimmers)
  • Charcoal barbecue grills

Improperly used or malfunctioning equipment can result in injuries or even death. Regular maintenance and inspection of gas burning equipment in your home can minimize your chance for exposure to CO gas.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Gas Exposure

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Unconsciousness

The symptoms and severity of these symptoms will vary depending on the level of exposure and duration of the exposure; however, a recurrent theme of CO2 poisoning is headache, dizziness and nausea, or “flu-like” symptoms.

Ways to Avoid Carbon Monoxide

  • Have fuel-burning appliances inspected by a qualified service technician once a year
  • Never use charcoal grills inside your home, garage, or a non-ventilated space
  • Don’t allow vehicle exhaust fumes to enter your home
  • Install UL listed CO detectors in your home


Carbon Monoxide Detectors

There are numerous brands and models of Carbon Monoxide detectors on the market today. Whichever one you choose; make sure it is UL listed. Clean it regularly to keep it free of grease, soot and debris by gently vacuuming it. Do NOT spray cleaning chemicals on or near the alarm. Test the CO alarm regularly.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a detector on each floor of a residence. A detector should be placed on each sleeping floor with an additional detector in the area of any major gas burning appliances such as a furnace or water heater. Place the detector high on the wall for it to be most effective. Do NOT place detectors within five feet of gas-fueled appliances or near cooking or bathing areas. Consult the manufacturer's installation instructions for proper placement of a detector.

If Your Alarm Goes Off…

  • Stay calm
  • Evacuate the house immediatley – leave a door open for ventilation
  • Contact the fire department immediatley

Copyright © 2009 Village of Winthrop Harbor Fire Department, Winthrop Harbor, IL 60096 - USA