Yes! Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas that results from the incomplete combustion of fuels, such as gas (LP & natural), gasoline, kerosene, oil, wood, coal, and other fuels. Any fuel-burning appliance can be a potential source of fatal or hazardous CO levels. Fuels can produce large amounts of CO when there is insufficient oxygen available for combustion. Another hazard is when gas appliances are not vented properly or are malfunctioning.
Obvious things to look for:
- Rust or water streaking on vent or chimney
- Loose or missing furnace panel
- Soot or debris falling from the chimney, fireplace, or appliances
- Loose or disconnected appliance, vent, or chimney
- Loose masonry on chimney
Non-Obvious things to look for:
- Internal appliance damage or malfunctioning parts
- Improper burner adjustments
- Hidden blockage or damage in chimney(s)
- Never leave a vehicle running in a garage, even with the garage door open.
- Never run a generator in the house, garage, or crawlspace. Opening windows and doors and/or using a fan will not prevent the build-up of CO in the house.
- Never burn charcoal in homes, vehicles, garages, or tents.
- Never install or service combustion appliances if you do not have the proper knowledge, skills, or tools.
- Never use a gas range, oven, or dryer for heat in the home.
- Never put aluminum foil on the bottom of a gas range because it interferes with combustion.
- Never operate an unvented gas burning appliance in a closed room or in a room where you are sleeping.
- Proper installation, maintenance, and operation of fuel-burning appliances are the most important factor in reducing the risk of CO poisoning.
- Make sure the appliance(s) are installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and local codes.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s direction for safe operation.
- Have the heating system inspected and serviced yearly by a trained, certified service technician.
- Examine vents and chimneys on a regular basis.
Symptoms of CO poisoning can mimic illnesses such as influenza or the common cold. Some common symptoms are a headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and nausea. It is highly recommended that you install CO detectors.