A guide to carbon monoxide...

Carbon monoxide exposure in the last 24 hours: How can I tell?

If you have had a higher than normal level of carbon monoxide exposure then you have been poisoned, it is a question of how severe it is.

If you think you may have been exposed during the last 24 hours then take IMMEDIATE action - DO NOT DELAY:


If you (or anyone else at your location) are experiencing symptoms from carbon monoxide exposure / poisoning

  • 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 exposure and poisoning. Specifically ask to have a blood test for carbon monoxide (this is only a meaningful test if done within a few hours after exposure).

Even if you answered "No" to all of the above, it is still possible you may have had low level carbon monoxide exposure.

To be safe, even if you think there is the smallest chance you or anyone else at your location has had carbon monoxide exposure:

  • Open windows 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 levels.

  • Call the fire department. Most will come to your location and test for safe levels of carbon monoxide in the home or building. 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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