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Recognition and Prevention of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Every year, numerous people suffer ill health effects as the result of carbon-monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a poison gas which has no color or odor. Thus, it can easily go unnoticed in the home. Carbon monoxide is produced by running car engines, burning charcoal, and appliances, if fueled with natural gas, oil, kerosene, wood, coal, or liquefied petroleum

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

It is important to recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning because many people mistake the symptoms for flu. The symptoms include:


  • headache;
  • shortness of breath;
  • dizziness;
  • fatigue; and
  • nausea and/or vomiting.

Poisoning Prevention Tips

A few simple tips for any homeowner to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning are as follows:


  • install a carbon monoxide detector or alarm in the home;
  • use all appliances in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;
  • schedule routine inspections of all heating systems;
  • do not burn charcoal in an enclosed space, such as a garage;
  • never leave a car running in the garage, even with the door open;
  • service appliances in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;
  • never use gas appliances for the purpose of warming your home;
  • make sure all appliances are properly vented in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions; and
  • never use gasoline-powered devices indoors.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.