QUICK TIPS: Carbon Monoxide - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Carbon Monoxide

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Quick Tips:

  1. Any fuel-burning machine can create carbon monoxide.
  2. Carbon monoxide can KILL YOU!
  3. Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  4. Buy and install a plug-in carbon monoxide alarm with a battery back-up or a battery-operated alarm.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a gas. It has no odor, no color and no taste. Sometimes it is called the “silent killer.”

Carbon monoxide can be a problem after floods. People sometimes use portable generators for making power. Other gas powered tools are often used for cleaning.

NEVER use a generator, fuel-powered tools, gas or charcoal grill in the house, garage, in enclosed areas, or near windows, doors, vents, window air conditioners, and other openings.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

The most common symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning is:

  • severe headache

Carbon monoxide may also cause:

  • severe fatigue
  • weakness
  • chest pain in those with heart disease
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • confusion
  • lack of coordination

If not removed to fresh air, carbon monoxide can cause loss of consciousness and death.

If you start to feel sick or dizzy while using fuel-burning equipment, get to fresh air right away. DO NOT WAIT!

If you have a poison emergency, call the Minnesota Poison Control Center at: 1-800-222-1222, or if the person is not breathing, call 911 for immediate help.

Buy and install a carbon monoxide alarm

Minnesota Statutes, section 299F.50 requires that homes have a carbon monoxide alarm within 10 feet of every room used for sleeping. This is effective for all single and multi-family homes.

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Updated Monday, March 30, 2015 at 10:26AM