Carbon Monoxide In The Home
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, gas that can be fatal when breathed. It is sometimes difficult to determine if carbon monoxide is the culprit, because its symptoms are similar to flu and allergies. Low levels can cause nausea, dizziness, weakness and muscle ache. Higher doses can impair judgment or cause paralysis, coma or death.
Buildup of carbon monoxide can occur in several ways:
Carbon monoxide detectors will alert you to dangerous, high levels of carbon monoxide but do not take the place of regular maintenance, inspection and safe operation of equipment.
Each home should have at least one detector in the area outside the sleeping areas of the home. It is also suggested that one should be placed on the ceiling near the furnace or heating system of the home.
Old alarms either produced frequent false alarms or no alarm at all. Look for the new technology on the newer alarms to be listed as UL 2034 on the product literature or on the underside of the alarm. These alarms are considered accurate.
If your alarm goes off, leave the premises immediately and notify the fire department.
Resource: Healthy Indoor Air for America’s Homes, EPA 402-K-98-002, June 2003.