Carbon monoxide is often referred to as CO, which is its chemical symbol. Unlike many gases, CO has no odor, color or taste, and it doesn't irritate your skin. Red blood cells pick up CO quicker than they pick up oxygen. If there is excessive CO in the air, your body may replace oxygen in your blood with CO. This can damage tissues in your body, and can be fatal. Knowing where CO is found, and how to avoid it, can help to protect you from serious injury or death.
Your Car or Truck
the Prevention of
Carbon monoxide is often referred to as CO, which is its chemical symbol. Unlike many gases, CO has no odor, color, or taste, and it doesn't irritate your skin.
Red blood cells pick up CO quicker than they pick up oxygen. If there is a lot of CO in the air, your body may replace oxygen in your blood with CO. This can damage tissues in your body, and it can kill you. Knowing where CO is found and how to avoid it can protect you from serious injury or death.
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The Home, Cabin, and Camper
Most questions will apply equally to homeowners, campers, and renters. Renters should ask their landlords about maintenance and repairs.
How often should I have my fireplace draft and the drafts of other fuel-burning appliances checked? Every year. Have all fuel-burning venting systems in your home checked by an expert every year.
How often should my gas appliances be checked? Every year. Have all gas appliances checked every year. Your gas company may be willing to do this for you.
Do all gas appliances need to be vented?
How often should my chimney vent be checked for defects or debris?
Is it okay to patch a vent pipe with tape, gum, or something else?
Should the horizontal vent pipes to my fuel appliances be perfectly
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Should I use my gas range or oven for heating?
Is it normal for the cooling unit of my gas refrigerator give off an
Should I use a charcoal grill or a barbecue grill indoors?
Should I use burning charcoal indoors?
Are portable flameless chemical heaters (catalytic) safe to use indoors?
Should I use a portable gas camp stove indoors?
How often should I have a mechanic check the exhaust system of my car?
Is it okay to run my car or truck in the garage with the garage door
Do I need to leave the door closed between my attached garage and my
house when I run my car or truck in the garage?
Should I keep my car or truck windows open while driving in heavy
traffic, even I run the air conditioner?
I drive a station wagon. Should I lower the tailgate to get more air in
When I choose gas equipment, how do I know what's safe?
How hard is it to convert a fuel burner from one fuel to another?
Is there anything I should do when I stay at motels or hotels that have
heating units located in the room?
Respiratory Health Branch
This page last reviewed August 20, 2007
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