Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Prevention

August 1, 2014 12:00 am Published by

When power outages occur after severe weather (such as winter storms, tornadoes, hurricanes), using alternative sources of power can cause carbon monoxide (CO) to build up in a home and poison the people and animals inside.

Every year, nearly 500 people die in the U. S. from accidental CO poisoning. CO is found in fumes produced by portable generators, stoves, lanterns, and gas ranges, or by burning charcoal and wood. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and can die from breathing CO.


How to Recognize CO Poisoning

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms.

CO poisoning is entirely preventable. You can protect yourself and your family by acting wisely in case of a power outage and learning the symptoms of CO poisoning.


You Can Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure

  • Do have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • Do install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds leave your home immediately and call 911.
  • Do seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous.
  • Don’t use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.
  • Don’t run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
  • Don’t burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.
  • Don’t heat your house with a gas oven.

When the power goes out, keep your generator outside

Portable back-up generators produce the poison gas
carbon monoxide (CO). CO is an odorless, colorless gas that kills without warning. It claims the lives of hundreds of people every year and makes thousands more ill.
Follow these steps to keep your family safe.

. Never use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open.
. Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows.

. Install battery-operated or battery back-up CO detectors near every sleeping area in your home.
. Check CO detectors regularly to be sure they are
functioning properly.


For more information, please visit is your online source for credible health information and is the official Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Instant Alarm can help protect you & your family from CO poisoning

We can install devices as part of your system designed to detect this gas informing you of its presence. The installation of these CO detectors may be the only notification for your family for the need to vacate your home.

Your fire alarm system will be monitored by our operators at our own UL Listed central monitoring station.

You do not need a phone line for monitoring. We offer wireless and internet monitoring options!