A guide to carbon monoxide...

Carbon monoxide poison is affecting me right now: Help me quick!

If you have been exposed to a higher than normal carbon monoxide level then you have been poisoned, it is a question of how severely.

  • Get fresh air immediately - open doors and windows, turn off combustion appliances, and leave the building

  • Call 911

  • Do a head count to make sure people and pets are out of the building

  • Go to an emergency room and let them know you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning. Specifically ask to have a carbon monoxide blood test (this is only meaningful if done within a few hours after being exposed)

Answer these questions only if you have plenty fresh air and all people and pets are out of the suspected carbon monoxide poisoning area:

Even if you answered "No" to all of the above:

It is still possible you may have been exposed to and poisoned by low levels of carbon monoxide. To be safe, even if you think there is the smallest chance you or anyone else at your location may have been poisoned:

  • Open windows sufficiently to allow fresh air flow within the building

  • Get fresh air immediately. For very mild poisoning, fresh air may be all that is needed. As soon as a person breathes fresh air, the levels of carbon monoxide in the blood will begin to decrease and return to normal

  • Call the fire department. Most will come to your location and test for unsafe levels of carbon monoxide. Some may even do a quick check for anything that looks unusual

  • Buy and install a carbon monoxide detector

  • Check your premises for anything that looks out-of-the-ordinary

  • Arrange to have all fuel burning appliances inspected and serviced as soon as possible

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Sue from Hershey, pA

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