Silent But Deadly: Is Carbon Monoxide a Threat in Your Home?

Home Tips from Urban Acres

The cold weather is upon us, and no amount of putting our heads in the proverbial sand is going to change that fact. And while much of this blog may seem like it’s “common sense,” we at Urban Acres prefer that we’re stating the obvious in the event someone really doesn’t know how carbon monoxide (CO) can become deadly.

As temperatures drop we turn on our furnaces and gas fireplaces and close our windows. These items, plus gas ranges and most water heaters, all burn fuel and whenever fuels (natural gas, oil or propane) combust CO is produced. All of these items are designed to vent the CO so it doesn’t build up and become a threat.

Homeowners nevertheless should be vigilant about being sure they remain safe by taking the following steps:

  • Never use gas stoves or ovens to heat a home, even temporarily.
  • Have a professional heating contractor inspect and service furnaces and heaters. (If you want to be really safe, have ANY fuel burning device inspected, including gas dryers, water heaters and ranges.)
  • Have flues and chimneys inspected for cracks, leaks and blockages.
  • Be sure the garage door is open when you turn a vehicle on, and don’t idle in the garage, even with the door open, for long.
  • Install a CO detector on every level of the home where there is a bedroom, and test them regularly.


It’s important to remember that you cannot see or smell CO. Signs of CO poisoning include fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea and/or confusion. If anyone in your home experiences these symptoms everyone should leave the home immediately and seek medical attention. Alert emergency response personnel and/or the gas company to the possibility of a gas leak next.

Need to purchase a carbon monoxide detector? For additional information and a list of highly-rated detectors, click here!

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