Carbon monoxide (CO) is a chemical found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel, i.e. in cars, gas ranges, gas- or wood-burning fireplaces, barbecue grills, gas water heaters, furnaces, etc. CO can build-up indoors and become poisonous to humans and pets.

CO is colourless and odourless. If your home has non-acceptable levels of carbon monoxide you should take corrective action immediately.

How does it affect you?

Carbon monoxide poisoning presents in humans as “flu-like” and can be fatal when inhaled in large amounts. It has been documented as more dangerous in young children.

Prevention is key as leaks can go unnoticed, causing short-term illnesses such as headaches or nausea. However, if one is exposed to fumes for longer periods, brain damage or even death can occur.

If you have any indications of CO in your home, have concerns or just want the peace of mind, you should have your home tested.

What should you do?

Install CO detectors in your home. It is important to not only have CO detectors, but have them located on every level of your home, especially near bedrooms. It is also important to know if your detectors are past their lifespan. Many CO detectors are only guaranteed to work for a certain amount of years. Check your owner’s manual and replace when necessary.

Install a CO detector, preferably battery operated, in case of power outages.

Do you know what to do if your CO detector is beeping? Separate lights (and sometimes intervals of beeping) indicate if it is beeping due to low battery or if there is CO detected in the air.

Are your appliances serviced regularly? It is important to have all gas, oil and coal burning appliances checked by a qualified technician every year.

Want to learn more? AmeriSpec’s certified professionals inspect, identify and address any problems in your home, so that you can rest assured that your family is living in a safe and healthy home. Learn more by downloading your copy of the AmeriSpec Healthy Homes brochure at, or by contacting your local AmeriSpec office.