Avoid the Hazards of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas produced from incomplete burning of fuels: natural gas, propane, fuel oil, gasoline, wood, coal etc.

Carbon MonoxideWhen carbon monoxide is present, it is absorbed into the blood from the air we breathe. Every year, as a result of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, more than 20,000 Americans go to the emergency room, more than 4,000 are hospitalized, and more than 400 die.

For more information see:  http://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm

For the effects on the human body see: http://www.davis.com/assets/techinfo/images/Combustion-Safety_10.jpg

Follow these simple, but important steps to keep your family safe

Maintain fuel burning equipment

All fuel burning appliances produce some carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is produced from incomplete combustion of fuels. Equipment that is not maintained can produce very high levels of CO, can poison you, damage the equipment or even cause fires in the building.

It is important to have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, or oil burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year. With proper maintenance, the carbon monoxide levels can be kept low and you can ensure that all exhaust gasses are safely discharged to the outside.

Additionally, properly maintained equipment has fewer break downs and runs more efficiently, saving on operating expenses. Maintenance costs are a small price to pay to give you peace of mind and keep your family safe.


Single and multifamily dwellings that have fuel burning appliances (furnaces, boilers, water heaters, stoves) in the building must have approved operational carbon monoxide alarms installed within ten feet of each room legally used for sleeping purposes.

These alarms must be kept in good repair at all times, never rendered inoperable, and back-up batteries should not be removed. An alarm with a digital display is beneficial because you can see what’s happening before an alarm condition exists.

There are exceptions for certain multifamily and state-operated facilities. Multifamily dwellings may have carbon monoxide alarms between 15 and 25 feet of carbon monoxide-producing equipment, provided there is a centralized alarm system or other mechanism for responsible parties to hear the alarm at all times.

A multifamily dwelling that contains minimal or no sources of carbon monoxide may be exempt, provided that such owner certifies to the commissioner of public safety that such multifamily dwelling poses no foreseeable carbon monoxide risk to the health and safety of the dwelling units.

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