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The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and poisonous gas that threatens family safety - a risk associated with using alternative methods of winter heating. Dubbed the “silent killer,” the gas kills 500 people and sends 20,000 more to the hospital each year.

In an effort to raise awareness about CO poisoning and how to make a home safe, UL is urging homeowners to INSPECT for, PROTECT and DETECT against CO hazards with the following tips:

• INSPECT for potential signs of CO leaks such as carbon streak or soot around fuel-burning appliances
• INSPECT furnace rooms for moisture collecting on windows or wall
• INSPECT fire repositories (chimneys and fireplaces) as well as fuel-burning appliances (furnaces, hot water heaters and stoves) annually with a qualified technician
• PROTECT your home by purchasing and installing a CO alarm on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas
• PROTECT the efficiency of CO alarms by testing them monthly and replacing batteries once a year
• DECTECT the source of CO by having a professional inspect and fix the problem after a CO alarm sounds
• DETECT CO by watching for symptoms of gas poisoning including headache, dizziness and other flu-like complaints and evacuate the house, call the fire department and seek medical attention

For more information on home heating and CO safety tips, go to SafetyAtHome.com