A carbon monoxide detector should be installed in every floor of the home. It costs about $25. Put it near the bedroom so it can wake you up when you're sleeping. And get those appliances looked at.
"The best recommendations I can give is that once a year at a minimum, all appliances should be checked by a qualified person," says Captain Ron Omernick from the Wausau Fire Department.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea and shortness of breath.
Call 9-1-1 right away if you think you're sick, and get plenty of fresh air. Also, don't warm your car up inside an attached garage. Pull it outside, and keep the garage door closed.
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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Tips
- DO have your fuel-burning appliances including oil and gas furnaces, gas water heaters, gas ranges and ovens, gas dryers, gas or kerosene space heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves inspected by a trained professional at the beginning of every heating season. Make certain that the flues and chimneys are connected, in good condition, and not blocked.
- DO choose appliances that vent their fumes to the outside whenever possible, have them properly installed, and maintain them according to manufacturers’ instructions.
- DO read and follow all of the instructions that accompany any fuel-burning device. If you cannot avoid using an unvented gas or kerosene space heater, carefully follow the cautions that come with the device. Use the proper fuel and keep doors to the rest of the house open. Crack a window to ensure enough air for ventilation and proper fuel burning.
- DO call EPA’s IAQ INFO Clearinghouse (1-800-438-4318) or the Consumer Product Safety Commission (1-800-638-2772) for more information on how to reduce your risks from CO and other combustion gases and particles.
- DON’T idle the car in a garage, even if the garage door to the outside is open. Fumes can build up very quickly in the garage and living area of your home.
- DON’T use a gas oven to heat your home, even for a short time.
- DON’T ever use a charcoal grill indoors, even in a fireplace.
- DON'T sleep in any room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.
- DON’T use any gasoline-powered engines (mowers, weed trimmers, snow blowers, chain saws, small engines or generators) in enclosed spaces.
- DON’T ignore symptoms, particularly if more than one person is feeling them. You could lose consciousness and die if you do nothing.
Source: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/coftsht.html (United States Environmental Protection Agency).