Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that kills without warning. It claims the lives of hundreds of people every year and makes thousands more ill. Many household items including gas- and oil-burning furnaces, portable generators, and charcoal grills produce this poison gas.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you. People who are sleeping or drunk can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms.

Follow these tips to keep you and your family safe:
  • Install battery-operated or battery back-up CO detectors near every sleeping area in your home.
  • Check CO detectors regularly to be sure they are functioning properly.
  • Have your furnace inspected every year.
  • Never use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open.
  • Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows.
Additional Resources:
WI DHS "Carbon Monoxide"
CDC "Carbon Monoxide Poisoning"
EPA "Carbon Monoxide's Impact on Indoor Air Quality"