What to look for
FIRST AND FOREMOST, THE ONLY WAY TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES IS TO USE A CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR. YOU MAY NOT SEE ANY INDICATORS.
Carbon Monoxide is an "Invisible Killer" because it is an invisible, odorless, poisonous gas created when fuels burn incompletely (see SOURCES OF CO POISONING). In the home heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can also be sources of carbon monoxide.
According to the Center for Disease Control the most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you. The impact of full exposure to CO poisoning can be quick and fatal. People who are sleeping or drunk can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms. Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning. Infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from CO. Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.