Carbon monoxide can leak from faulty furnaces or fuel-fired heaters, or can be trapped inside the building by a blocked chimney or flue.  Burning charcoal inside the house, or running an automobile engine in an attached garage, will also produce carbon monoxide.  Hazards may be associated with almost all types of combustion appliances, which are those which burn fuels for warmth, cooking, or decorative purposes Under certain conditions, these appliances can produce combustion pollutants that may damage your health or prove fatal.

 

   
   
   
 
 
Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Save Lives
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced when any fuel is incompletely burned. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to flu-like illnesses and include dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and irregular breathing. Carbon monoxide can leak from faulty furnaces or fuel-fired heaters or can be trapped inside by a blocked chimney or flue. Burning charcoal inside the house or running an automobile engine in an attached garage also will produce carbon monoxide in the home.

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What You Should Know About Combustion Appliances and Indoor Air Pollution
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Hazards may be associated with almost all types of appliances. The purpose of this booklet is to answer some common questions you may have about the potential for one specific type of hazard - indoor air pollution - associated with one class of appliances - combustion appliances.

Combustion appliances are those which burn fuels for warmth, cooking, or decorative purposes. Typical fuels are gas, both natural and liquefied petroleum (LP); kerosene; oil; coal; and wood. Examples of the appliances are space heaters, ranges, ovens, stoves, furnaces, fireplaces, water heaters, and clothes dryers. These appliances are usually safe. However, under certain conditions, these appliances can produce combustion pollutants that can damage your health, or even kill you.

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Protect Your Family and Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

You canít see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. If appliances that burn fuel are maintained and used properly, the amount of CO produced is usually not hazardous. However, if appliances are not working properly or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of CO can result. Hundreds of people die accidentally every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances (a more recent review claims CO as the leading cause of more than 15,000

ning deaths in the United States each year, and another 10,000 injuries, according to the Carbon Monoxide Medical Association). Even more die from CO produced by idling cars. Fetuses, infants, elderly people, and people with anemia or with a history of heart or respiratory disease can be especially susceptible. Be safe. Practice the DOís and DONíTs of carbon monoxide.

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Automobiles and Carbon Monoxide
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Carbon monoxide results from incomplete combustion of fuel and is emitted directly from vehicle tailpipes. Incomplete combustion is most likely to occur at low air-to-fuel ratios in the engine. These conditions are common during vehicle starting when air supply is restricted ("choked"), when cars are not tuned properly, and at altitude, where "thin" air effectively reduces the amount of oxygen available for combustion (except in cars that are designed or adjusted to compensate for altitude).

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Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Un-vented kerosene and gas space heaters; leaking chimneys and furnaces; back-drafting from furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces; gas stoves. Automobile exhaust from attached garages. Environmental tobacco smoke.

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