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What it Means When Your Carbon Monoxide Alarm Beeps

May 6, 2013
Brian Piccolo

What does it mean when your Carbon Monoxide Alarm beeps?

  • If you do not have a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in your home, do you need one?
  • If you do have one and your carbon monoxide detector starts beeping, do you know what to do? Would your kids know what to do?

Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning. More than 20,000 will visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning (Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Fatality is highest among Americans 65 and older. Sadly, the number of deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning continues to rise yearly.

What you need to know about carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide, also known as the silent killer, is an odorless and colorless gas.

Sources of CO Gas

CO is produced by stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, as well as gas ranges and heating systems. Never use portable camp stoves, barbecues or similar in an unventilated space, especially your home or garage.

Symptoms of CO Poisoning

Many people mistake the symptoms of CO poisoning with the flu. Symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion

When your carbon monoxide detector sounds an alarm, immediately leave the building and call emergency services.