Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. It is produced by the incomplete burning of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. Appliances fueled with natural gas, liquefied petroleum (LP gas), oil, kerosene, coal, or wood may produce carbon monoxide. Burning charcoal produces carbon monoxide. Running cars produce carbon monoxide.
Every year, over 200 people in the United States die from carbon monoxide produced by fuel-burning appliances (furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters). Others die from carbon monoxide produced while burning charcoal inside a home, garage, vehicle or tent. Still others die from carbon monoxide produced by cars left running in attached garages. Several thousand people go to the hospital emergency rooms for treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Use the test button on your detector/alarm. In some units this will only test whether the circuitry is working. Check your manufacturer’s instructions, if your unit only tests the circuitry you may be able to buy a separate test kit, which tests the carbon monoxide sensor inside the alarm.
Carbon monoxide detectors/alarms are available for boats and recreational vehicles and should be used. Detectors/alarms are required in motor homes and towable recreational vehicles that have a generator or are prepped for a generator. For more information, check out the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission site at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/466
What to do if you experience symptoms:
What to do if your carbon monoxide detector/alarm sounds: