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Carbon Monoxide Safety

1. What are the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

Carbon Monoxide poisoning can strike quickly or build up over time. The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to flu symptoms, headaches, nausea and fatigue. With increased exposure time or CO concentration, the symptoms become more severe, taking the form of drowsiness and confusion. Continued exposure can lead to brain damage and death.

2. Where should the Carbon Monoxide detector be placed in the home?

The detector should preferably be placed right outside or in the bedroom. They may also be placed in the furnace room or other areas of the residence where the occupants believe that Carbon Monoxide might accumulate.

3. Will one device be sufficient for an entire dwelling?

Generally, yes. However, large and/or multilevel dwellings may wish to install several.

4. What makes Carbon Monoxide so dangerous?

Carbon Monoxide is an odourless, colourless, and tasteless gas which is very toxic. When Carbon Monoxide is inhaled, it produces an effect known as chemical asphyxiation. Injury is due to the combination of CO with available hemoglobin in the blood, lowering the blood's oxygen-carrying capacity. Even at very low parts per million levels, the body is quickly affected by oxygen starvation. Exposure during sleeping is particularly dangerous because the victim usually does not awaken.

5. What are some common sources of Carbon Monoxide in a residence?

The most common causes of CO accumulation in homes include:

* blocked or poor ventilated fireplace chimney or furnace flue
* faulty or damaged heating equipment (especially cracked furnace heat exchanges )
* malfunctioning space heater
* automobile or lawn mower exhaust in unvented garages

6. Why should you be concerned about Carbon Monoxide gas?

Carbon Monoxide or CO is a poisonous gas, which is especially dangerous due to its physical characteristics and effect on the body. It is often referred to as the "SILENT KILLER". There are many potential sources and combinations of conditions that may produce Carbon Monoxide. . All are related to the process of incomplete combustion of a fossil fuel. In any enclosed space a small accumulation of CO can be dangerous.

7. What is the source of carbon monoxide?

CO is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such as natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal, gasoline and wood. This problem can occur in any device, which depends on burning for heat or energy. For example, furnaces, boilers, room heaters, hot water heaters, stoves, grills and any gasoline engine (i.e. lawn mower) are enclosed on this list of devices.