All fuel-burning equipment produces carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless poisonous gas. Normally, the gas from the combustion process is vented safely up a chimney or flue pipe, but there are times when the gas can enter your home. Some common ways that carbon monoxide can enter your home are as follows:
- Fireplaces and woodstoves with obstructed flues or down-draft conditions.
- Attached garages with vehicles running.
- Furnaces, water heaters, stoves, and gas-fired clothes dryers which are not properly vented.
- Space heaters fueled by gas, propane, or kerosene.
If any of these conditions could apply, you should have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home. Follow the manufacturer instructions regarding proper placement. If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds, call 911. If anyone is feeling ill, complains of a headache, or has "flu-like" symptoms, evacuate the house immediately. The Fire Department has detection instruments that can assist you should your carbon monoxide alarm sound.