January 7, 2005

Fuel-burning home heating units can give off carbon monoxide and cause build up of this gas. Using fuel-burning appliances to help heat your home during power failures also can be a potential for disaster. But there are ways homeowners can guard against this deadly gas.

Common sources of carbon monoxide in homes include gas furnaces, fireplaces, kerosene heaters, wood-burning stoves and fuel-burning appliances. 

Carbon monoxide is a gas that can be especially dangerous because it has no color, taste or odor, said Kim Henken, Extension associate for environmental issues with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause serious health problems and even death.

“Many people don’t even realize they are being exposed because symptoms are similar to the flu such as headache, fatigue, dizziness and nausea,” she said.

To help protect against exposure, have your furnaces, flues, chimneys and fuel-burning appliances checked at least once a year. Never try to heat your home with gas ovens or burners and don’t use a barbecue grill indoors.

Motor vehicles also are sources of carbon monoxide and should not be allowed to idle in closed or open garages.

Installing a carbon monoxide alarm near sleeping areas can further protect against possible exposure, Henken said.



Editor: Laura Skillman 270-365-7541 ext. 278

Contact: Kim Henken 859-257-7775