Protect the household from carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon Monoxide is a tasteless, odorless and colorless gas and is one of the deadliest pollutants posing a threat to homes. Sometimes it is referred to as the silent killer. Figures vary, but it is estimated that the gas kills up to 1,000 people in the United States every year. With the right precautions, these deaths could be prevented.
    Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal is burned. The items that burn these fuels are common in households. A gas furnace or boiler, vehicle, charcoal grill or wood stove or fireplace can produce carbon monoxide gas. Electric appliances do not produce CO. Carbon monoxide poisoning only becomes a threat when any of these items is improperly installed, not maintained correctly or when there is inadequate ventilation.
    Take steps to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by having fuel-burning appliances inspected and serviced yearly by a trained professional. The best time for an inspection is at the beginning of the heating season.
    Make sure the appliances that are vented to the outdoors through chimneys or vent pipes aren't blocked by an animal nest or other obstruction. If unvented combustion equipment must be used, open a window in the room where it is burning and never sleep in the room where it's burning. Similarly, don't allow a car to idle in a garage even if the door is open, and don't use a gasoline-powered engine in an enclosed space.

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