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Tips to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Release Date: 12/20/2006
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 /

(12/20/06) Carbon monoxide can kill you. That's the message the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is again emphasizing since recent power outages caused by bad weather have prompted people to turn to generators and other alternative sources of power, heat and light. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced when any fuel is burned.

EPA's advice is simple and straightforward:

  • Do not to use fuel-burning devices such as gasoline-powered generators, gasoline-powered pressure washers, camp stoves and lanterns, or charcoal grills in homes, garages, or any other confined space such as attics or crawl spaces, or within 10 feet of windows, doors or other air intakes.
  • Have vents and chimneys checked to assure that debris does not block or impede the exhaust from water heaters and gas furnaces.
  • If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a fuel-burning appliance, get to fresh air right away.
  • Go to the emergency room and tell the physician you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

Tips on protecting against carbon monoxide poisoning:

Proteja su vida y la de su familia Evite el envenenamiento con monóxido de carbono:

EPA also has public service announcements on carbon monoxide in English and Spanish:

English PSA:

Spanish PSA: