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Department of Public Safety

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. 1,500 people die annually due to accidental carbon monoxide exposure, and an additional 10,000 seek medical attention. It is difficult to estimate the total number of carbon monoxide incidents because the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning resembles many other common ailments.

Carbon monoxide is a flammable, colorless, odorless, and tasteless toxic gas produced during the incomplete combustion of fuel (Natural Gas, Oil, Coal, Wood, Kerosene, ect.).

Excessive amounts of Carbon Monoxide can cause headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, confusion, and irritability.  Later stages of Carbon Monoxide poisoning can cause vomiting, loss of consciousness, and eventually death.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon Monoxide DetectorsThe Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Statesboro Fire Department recommend installing at least one carbon monoxide detector with an audible alarm near the bedrooms in your home. If a home has more than one story, a detector should be placed on in a designated room on each story.

Be sure the detector has a testing laboratory label.

The following is a checklist of where to look for problem sources of Carbon Monoxide in the home:

  • A forced air furnace is frequently the source of leaks and should be carefully inspected.
  • Measure the concentration of carbon monoxide in the flue gases.
  • Check furnace connections to flue pipes and venting systems to the outside of the home for signs of corrosion, rust gaps, holes.
  • Check furnace filters and filtering systems for dirt and blockages.
  • Check forced air fans for proper installation and to assure correct air flow of flue gases. Improper furnace blower installation can result in carbon monoxide build- up because toxic gas is blown into rather than out of the house.
  • Check the combustion chamber and internal heat exchanger for cracks, holes, metal fatigue or corrosion. Be sure they are clean and free of debris.
  • Remember to check burners and ignition systems. A natural gas flame that is mostly yellow in color in fired furnaces is often a sign that the fuel is not burning completely and higher levels of carbon monoxide are being released. Oil furnaces with similar problems can give off an oily odor.
  • Remember you can’t smell carbon monoxide.
  • Check all venting systems on the outside including flues and chimneys for cracks, corrosion, holes, debris, and blockages. Animals and birds can build nests in chimneys preventing gases from escaping.
  • Check all other appliances in the home that use flammable fuels, such as natural gas, oil, propane, wood or kerosene. Appliances include water heaters, clothing dryers, kitchen ranges, ovens or cook tops, wood burning stoves, gas, and refrigerators.
  • Pilot lights can be a source of carbon monoxide because the by-products of combustion are released inside the home rather than vented outside.
  • Be sure space heaters are vented properly. Unvented space heaters that use a flammable fuel such as kerosene can release carbon monoxide into the home.
  • Barbecue grills should never be operated indoors under any circumstances nor should stove tops or ovens that operate on flammable fuels be used to heat a residence.
  • Check for closed, block, or bent flues, soot, and debris.
  • Check for clothes dryer vent opening outside the house for lint.

Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions regarding Carbon Monoxide,(912) 764-FIRE (3473).