Tips to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is dangerous and potentially poisonous if inhaled. Here are some tips provided by CenterPoint Energy to protect everyone in your building from potentially deadly CO poisoning.

Mild exposure to CO can cause:

  • Slight headache
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Flu-like symptoms that disappear when the person breathes fresh air

Medium exposure can cause:
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Severe headache
  • Rapid heart rate

Severe exposure:

  • Convulsions
  • Unconsciousness
  • Cardiac/respiratory arrest
  • Death

Treatment for CO exposure is fresh air or oxygen. Severe exposure requires medical attention.

If you suspect CO is present in your building:
  1. Open windows to ventilate the area.
  2. Shut off your furnace and other fuel-burning appliances.
  3. If you're experiencing physical symptoms, get everyone, including pets, out of your building.
  4. If you have an attached garage, open the largest garage door.
  5. If you suspect problems with your appliances, call your gas appliance dealer or CenterPoint Energy's Customer Service.
  6. If CO is discovered, don't return to your building until the source is found and the problem corrected.
  7. Get to fresh air and call 911.