What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?
- CO is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless deadly gas.
- CO is made anytime fuel (oil, gas, wood) is burned.
- CO poisoning can occur from faulty furnace operation or blocked exhaust systems.
Possible sources include:
- Charcoal or kerosene heaters
- Coal, wood or gas stoves
- Propane grills (do not use inside)
- Running cars in attached garages
- Tobacco smoke
- Motorboats and houseboats
- Use a CO detector.
- Have your heating system serviced yearly.
- Do not use charcoal or gas grills in your home or in a tent.
- Do not use the oven to heat your home.
- Unplug portable heaters while sleeping.
- If you think a faulty appliance may be letting out large amounts of CO, call your local fire department for assistance in testing the air for CO.
- Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, nausea and vomiting, weakness, fatigue, and confusion. Symptoms can mimic the flu.
- If several people in the household become ill at the same time, it may not “just be the flu.”
What to Do
- Get to fresh air right away
- Open all doors and windows wide
- Call the Washington Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 right away
For more information, visit http://kingcounty.gov.
Want to print a copy of this information? We have a Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet available in pdf.