Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, highly toxic gas produced when fuels such as gasoline, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, natural gas, coal and wood do not have an adequate oxygen supply to properly burn. CO could be posing a deadly threat to you and your family. If you suspect CO in your home, leave and call 911 immediately.
Although the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can be subtle, the condition is a life-threatening medical emergency. Get immediate care for anyone who may have carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:
If you or someone may have been exposed to carbon monoxide, get fresh air immediately and seek emergency medical care. If possible, open windows and doors on the way out of the house. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be especially dangerous for older adults and children.
Typically, the amount of carbon monoxide produced by these sources is not cause for concern. But if appliances are not kept in good working order or if they are used in a closed or partially closed space — such as using a charcoal grill indoors or running a car in a closed garage — the carbon monoxide can build to dangerous levels. Even swimming behind a motorboat or riding in the back of an enclosed pickup truck can be dangerous.
Source: Mayo Clinic
CO detectors are required in all Wisconsin residences. Similar to smoke detectors, CO detectors provide an early alert to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Any American Gas Association and UL-approved models meet the standard for a good detector. Follow installation directions and keep instructions for later reference.
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services alarm requirements
Download U.S. Consumer Public Safety Commission's brochure: The Invisible Killer