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Learn about carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas produced when fuels don’t burn completely, or are exposed to heat (usually fire).

These fuels include: wood, coal, charcoal, oil, natural gas, gasoline, kerosene, and propane. Because carbon monoxide poses a serious public health risk, most states in the U.S. have made carbon monoxide alarms mandatory in homes.

To learn more about your state's carbon monoxide laws, check out Carbon Monoxide Detectors State Statutes

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), several common appliances are often sources of carbon monoxide, including oil or gas burning furnaces, gas ovens, wood-burning fireplaces, and charcoal grills. Carbon monoxide levels can rise quickly if any of these appliances are not properly maintained, are improperly ventilated or malfunction.

Proper airflow through the home helps to lower levels of carbon monoxide. "Air-tight" homes with added insulation, sealed windows, and other weatherproofing can "trap" carbon monoxide inside. Electrical appliances typically do not produce carbon monoxide.

To learn more about carbon monoxide, visit the NFPA.

Source: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

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