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Carbon monoxide poisoning
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Protect your family from a silent killer

[NOV. 8, 2004]  Take steps now to protect your family from the unseen danger of carbon monoxide. Install a carbon monoxide detector in your house, and plan to check its battery every time you check your smoke detector batteries.

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. If it builds up in your home, it can cause illness or even death. More than 500 Americans are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning every year. Any heater that burns fuel -- such as your furnace, gas water heater or a portable butane or gas heater -- can leak carbon monoxide and should be inspected every year.

In addition to having a working carbon monoxide detector in your house, you should never burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn't vented properly, never heat your house with a gas oven, and never run a generator in an enclosed space (like your basement) or outside a window where the exhaust could blow indoors, even if the power goes out.

When you're driving, don't warm your car up in a closed garage. If your garage is attached to your house, close the door to the house even if you open the garage door while you warm up the car. And when it snows, be sure to clear any snow out of your car's tailpipe. If the pipe is blocked, exhaust can back up inside your car.

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Click on the links below to test your carbon monoxide knowledge of your:

For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning, go to

[U.S. Food and Drug Administration news release]


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