Learn What to Do
Every day, we count on heating systems to warm our homes and businesses, stoves to cook our meals, hot water heaters to warm our showers, and lawn mowers and snow blowers to keep our surroundings manicured and clear.
Most of the time, fuel-burning appliances and equipment work as expected to make our lives easier and more convenient. But when they don’t work as they should, or are used improperly, they can cause a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide (CO) in the air.
You cannot see or smell CO, but small amounts are in the air whenever fuel is burned. These amounts are usually not harmful, but when too much builds up it can cause CO poisoning, which can be deadly.
While CO poisoning is a year-round threat, it is more common in cold weather when fuel-burning heating equipment is in use. Be familiar with the symptoms of CO poisoning, including headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and confusion. They can occur immediately or gradually after long-term exposure.
If you think there are high levels of CO in your home or business, go outside! If there is a medical emergency, such as someone falling unconscious, take the person outside to fresh air and then call 911. Wait outside or go to a neighbor’s until help arrives.
CO poisoning is dangerous, but there are simple things you can do to reduce your risk:
- Make sure all fuel-burning appliances and equipment are maintained and operate properly. Improperly vented fireplaces can also give off CO.
- Install a CO detector in every area of your home. They can provide an early warning before CO builds up to dangerous levels.
- Never use ovens or clothes dryers for heating.
- Do not allow vehicles, snow blowers, lawn mowers or any gasoline-powered engine to idle in a garage – especially if the garage is attached to your home or business. CO can drift inside and create a hazardous situation
At PSE&G, safety is our top priority. That’s why we want you to be aware of the danger that high levels of CO can create and take steps to prevent CO poisoning. To learn more, go to pseg.com/gassafety.