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Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is called the "Invisible Killer" because it's a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. More than 150 people in the United States die every year from accidental non-fire related CO poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators. Other products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces.

Safety Tips

  • Have your home heating systems (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually by a trained service technician.
  • Never use portable generators inside homes or garages, even if doors and windows are open. Use generators outside only, far away from the home.
  • Never bring a charcoal grill into the house for heating or cooking. Do not barbeque in the garage.
  • Never use a gas range or oven for heating.
  • Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire and keep it open until the ashes are cool. An open damper may help prevent build-up of poisonous gases inside the home.
  • Install battery-operated CO alarms or CO alarms with battery backup in your home outside separate sleeping areas.
  • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and confusion. If you suspect CO poisoning, get outside to fresh air immediately, and then call 911.

View CO Safety Tips


An Alarm Can Save Your Life

Working CO alarms matter. Install one and check its batteries regularly.

View Information About CO Alarms


Other CO Topics

Recalls

Charcoal


Research & Statistics

NOVEMBER 18, 2020

Non-Fire Carbon Monoxide Deaths Associated with the Use of Consumer Products - 2017 Annual Estimates

AUGUST 17, 2020

Fatal Incidents Associated with Non-Fire Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Engine-Driven Generators and Other Engine-Driven Tools, 2009-2019 


CPSC Safety Alerts and Neighborhood Safety Network posters are not available to order. If you would like to use these safety publications, they are free to download and print.

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