Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odourless, and tasteless gas that is slightly less dense than air. It is toxic to humans and animals when encountered in higher concentrations.
The main sources of carbon monoxide in your home are:
- Wood burning stoves
- Gas stoves
- Gas water heaters and furnaces
- Cars warming up in the garage
- Kerosene heaters
Installing your carbon monoxide alarm
Here are a few things to consider when installing your carbon monoxide alarm:
- Install at least one carbon monoxide alarm outside all sleeping areas in your home.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms where they can be heard.
- Carbon monoxide is roughly the same weight as air and will distribute evenly, so carbon monoxide alarms can be installed at any height.
What to do if your carbon monoxide alarm goes off
Here are the top three things you must do if your carbon monoxide alarm is activated:
- Get everybody outdoors immediately.
- Call 911 from a safe location.
- Keep all windows and doors closed, after everyone has left the house, to allow for an accurate reading of carbon monoxide levels.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
The following are all symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Shortness of breath
- Flu-like symptoms
If you or your family members are experiencing any of these symptoms you may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. If these symptoms are less severe when you are outside of the home it may also be a sign of a carbon monoxide problem in the house. If you feel that you are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning you should call 911 as well as get proper medical attention.
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