From The Fire Department
Things you can do to protect you family from Carbon Monixide.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, and poisonous gas, which is slightly lighter than air and forms when fuels burn incompletely. It is produced when any fuel-burning object doesn't completely burn the gas supplied to it. Carbon monoxide can be produced from any burned fuel, including: Gasoline, Propane, Natural Gas, Wood, Oil and Coal. The household appliances that are most likely to cause carbon monoxide poisoning are: Furnaces, Gas Stoves, Clothes Dryers, Water Heaters and Space Heaters.
Detectors that you purchase for your home should be UL listed (Underwriters Laboratories) Detectors are generally warranted from 5-7 years. We would suggest you replace them after they are out of warranty.
The following are some recommendations to help you stay safe.
Choose fuel-burning appliances that can be vented to the outdoors, whenever possible.
Make sure appliances are installed according to manufacturer's instructions and local building codes. Most appliances should be installed by professionals and should be inspected by the proper authority after installation.
Have the heating system, vents, chimney and flue inspected and cleaned by a qualified technician every year.
Follow manufacturer's directions for safe operation of all fuel-burning appliances.
Examine vents and chimneys regularly for improper connections, visible rust or stains.
Open a window when a fireplace or wood-burning stove is in use, and provide adequate outdoor air for furnace and water heater.
Notice problems that could indicate improper appliance operation such as; Decreasing hot water supply. Furnace unable to heat house or runs constantly. Sooting, especially on appliances. Unfamiliar or burning odor.
Be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headaches, dizziness, weakness, sleepiness, nausea, vomiting, confusion and disorientation.
Recognize that CO poisoning may be the cause when family members suffer from flu-like symptoms that don't disappear but improve when they leave home for extended periods of time.