Life Amplified

Carbon Monoxide Detection/Safety

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, claiming more than 400 lives and sending more than 15,000 people to hospital emergency rooms for treatment every year. Below are some ways to prevent carbon monoxide from getting into your home.

What is carbon monoxide (CO)?
Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you’re aware it is in your home. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are mistaken for the flu.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning?
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure.

What are the leading causes of carbon monoxide (CO)?
Heating equipment is the leading cause of CO incidents – 40 percent of CO calls occur between November and February when home heating systems are in use, and 97 percent of all CO incidents occur in residential buildings.

How can we detect carbon monoxide and keep your family safe?
Carbon monoxide detectors are very reliable and provide excellent protection from CO poisoning. The installation of CO detectors give warning to people in a building of unhealthy or dangerous levels of CO before the symptoms of CO poisoning occur. Each CO detector should be located on the wall or ceiling as specified by the manufacturer’s installation instructions that accompany the unit. The manufacturer’s instructions also contain information on potential sources of CO, the symptoms of CO poisoning and what to do if the CO detector sounds an alarm.

What should you do if the carbon monoxide detector goes off?

Please leave the premise immediately and call 911. It is better to be safe than sorry. State and Village code requires that CO detectors be in every dwelling unit, and that each unit is equipped with at least one detector within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes. The only exception are residences that do not rely on fossil fuel combustion for heat, ventilation or hot water; are not connected in any way to a garage, and are not sufficiently close to any ventilated source or carbon monoxide as determined by the local building commissioner.

Additional Resources:

Consumer Product Safety Commission:

Illinois State Fire Marshal: