Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From?

Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless, tasteless and deadly gas. Known as the “silent killer,” carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for the deaths of 450 people in the United States each year according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and sends over 20,000 others to the emergency room. CO can be produced by any fueling burning devices or appliances in your home. If a CO leak does occur, it is important to know where carbon monoxide comes from to help ensure you have the proper detection to provide an early warning. Help protect your family by installing a carbon monoxide detector on every level and in every bedroom of your home. CO alarms are the only way to detect the poisonous gas.

What Produces Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as wood, coal, propane, or natural gas are burned, but not completely. Partial burning doesn’t allow enough oxygen to create carbon dioxide (CO2), so CO is produced instead. This can occur in a number of fuel burning appliances inside your home, so it is important to have carbon monoxide alarms in order to detect high levels of CO if there is a leak.

Sources of CO in the Home

CO can be produced by any fuel burning device or appliance such as:

  • Diesel or gasoline-powered vehicles
  • Small gasoline engines such as lawnmowers or string trimmers
  • Stoves that burn wood and charcoal
  • Gas ranges or stovetops, as well as gas ovens
  • Boilers
  • Dryer vents
  • Chimneys
  • Generators
  • Gas furnace heating systems

Help avoid the build-up of carbon monoxide by knowing where it comes from in your home, garage, or other areas, and be sure to take the following precautions to help protect yourself, your family, and your pets:

  • Service your household appliances annually to ensure they are in working order
  • Never leave your vehicle running inside the garage, with the garage door closed or open
  • Generators should be used in well-ventilated locations outside, at least 20 feet away from all doors, windows, and vent openings.

Help Protect Your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A carbon monoxide detector is the only way to detect this poisonous gas in your home. Install carbon monoxide alarms on every level and in every bedroom of your home. After installing, be sure to test your alarms regularly to ensure they are working properly. Change the batteries every 6 months or upgrade to a 10-year sealed battery alarm to eliminate the need for battery replacements. Knowing where carbon monoxide comes from and what produces this deadly gas inside your house is essential to help protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning. Follow our CO safety tips for more information and purchase First Alert carbon monoxide detectors for your home.

Source: National Fire Protection Association