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What to Know About Carbon Monoxide

08 Mar 2022

While Spring is just around the corner, UGI urges customers to remain vigilant to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

CO is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that is a by- product of the incomplete combustion of fuels such as wood, charcoal, gasoline, kerosene, oil, natural gas, and propane. CO can be caused by malfunctioning heating systems or appliances as well as damaged or blocked vents and chimneys.

Signs there may be a build-up of CO in your home include:
• Significant condensation on walls and windows;
• House pets becoming sluggish;
• Residents in the home suffering flu-like symptoms or feeling unusually tired;
• Chronic odors from a malfunctioning appliance.

While CO is odorless, the malfunctioning appliance can emit a sooty or smoky smell.

CO poisoning is serious and can be fatal. Individuals who think they might be experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning should immediately seek fresh air and prompt medical attention.

Symptoms of CO poisoning include flu-like symptoms such as headache, nausea, and dizziness, as well as fatigue and shortness of breath.

Here are some simple steps to help ensure your safety:
• Make sure working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are appropriately located and the batteries are fresh.
• Clear any accumulation of snow or ice from the outside vents of your appliances.
• An annual check and service of your heating system and appliances will help ensure the safe operation of your equipment.
• If the heating equipment in your home is not working because of an electric power outage, never use an open oven or grill inside your home to provide heat.
• Use caution when using unvented space heaters. Unvented heaters are designed for supplemental use only. Always follow manufacturer’s directions regarding the use of these heaters.