Carbon Monoxide Information and Safety Tips

Posted by Lori Gelvin Tuesday, September 27, 2022 11:36:00 AM

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. Carbon monoxide is commonly known as "the silent killer." When a person breathes air that contains carbon monoxide, it is absorbed through the bloodstream, displaces oxygen and inhibits the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to vital organs such as the heart and brain.

Each year, more than 500 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, several thousand individuals are treated in hospital emergency rooms for carbon monoxide poisoning.

The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. High levels of carbon monoxide ingestion can cause loss of consciousness, coma and death. Unless suspected, carbon monoxide poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses. If you suspect CO poisoning, call 911 or consult a health care professional.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Precautions:

  • Carbon monoxide can only be detected with a carbon monoxide detector/alarm. These detectors are available in plug-in, battery-operated, or hardware models. Ensure your detector shows the "UL" marking (indicating it’s listed by Underwriters Laboratories). Consider placing a carbon monoxide alarm on each level of your home.
  • If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
  • Call for help from the fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.
  • Have the heating system inspected and serviced at least once a year.
  • Have your chimney vent checked annually for blockages, corrosion, loose connections or debris.
  • Ensure that chimney flues are completely opened when fireplaces are in use.
  • Keep gas appliances properly adjusted and serviced.
  • Never use a gas oven to heat your home.
  • Never use a gas or charcoal grill inside your home or in a closed garage.
  • Do not sleep in any room with a non-vented gas or kerosene space heater.
  • If using a portable generator during a power outage, make sure the generator is operating in a well-ventilated area. Never refuel a generator while it is running or hot.
  • Never leave a vehicle, mower or generator running in an attached garage, even when the garage door is open.

Sources of Carbon Monoxide

CO is a by-product of incomplete combustion. Any fuel-burning device may produce dangerous levels of CO gas. Examples include:

  • Fuel-fired furnaces (non-electric)
  • Gas water heaters
  • Generators
  • Fireplaces and wood stoves
  • Gas stoves
  • Non-electric space heaters (propane, kerosene)
  • Gas dryers
  • Charcoal grills
  • Lawnmowers, snow blowers, etc.
  • Automobiles

Provided courtesy of

Wayne Insurance Group

For more than a century, the Wayne Insurance Group companies have delivered financial security and peace of mind for families, farms and businesses. As mutual insurance companies, we exist to serve the insurance needs of our policyholders. We have partnered with a network of independent agents to offer a full line of insurance programs backed by prompt, fair claims service and support.

Contact Us

Wayne Insurance Group
3873 Cleveland Road
Wooster, Ohio 44691

Tel: 330-345-8100 | Tol: 800-222-3873

Wayne Mutual Insurance Company

Founded in 1910, Wayne Mutual Insurance Company provides a wide range of property and casualty insurance programs for automobiles, homes, farms, investment properties, and businesses.

Washington Mutual Insurance Association

Since 1878, Washington Mutual Insurance Association has provided protection for homes, farms and personal property. Our products can be tailored to meet the specific needs of our policyholders.