For suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911 immediately. If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak in your home, go outside immediately and report it at 1-800-233-5325 .

About carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that is colorless, odorless, tasteless and virtually impossible to detect. Common sources of carbon monoxide in the home include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as hot-air furnaces, space heaters and natural gas ranges. We will respond without delay to carbon monoxide-related calls from all natural gas customers within our service area — even if you purchase natural gas from an alternative gas marketer. If you use a fuel other than natural gas, please contact your respective fuel supplier. Other sources are woodstoves, charcoal grills, motor vehicle engines, fireplaces and even burning cigarettes.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu. A person may experience headaches, dizziness, weakness, sleepiness, nausea, confusion, tightness of the chest, fluttering of the heart, redness of the skin and loss of muscle control. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, immediately go outside and breathe deeply. If symptoms are severe, get medical attention immediately.

Protect your family 

• Before the heating season begins, have your heating system checked by a licensed professional heating contractor.

• Check chimneys or flues for debris, birds' nests or other blockage.

• Be sure all space heaters and woodstoves are in good condition and used in strict compliance with the manufacturer's instructions, with adequate ventilation and plenty of fresh air.

• Never use a gas range for heating. Also, never burn coal or charcoal in an enclosed space.

• Never leave a car idling in a closed garage.

• Consider installing a carbon-monoxide detector to monitor the air for high levels of carbon monoxide. Be sure the detector you buy is "UL LISTED."

• When adding a coal- or wood-burning stove, be sure it is professionally installed and vented.

• Never block or seal shut vents and exhaust ducts of appliances such as water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers.