Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced by portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, and from burning charcoal and wood. Each year, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is responsible for more than 50,000 emergency department visits, resulting in more than 400 deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Americans ages 65 and older have the highest rate of fatalities.
Effective January 1, 2007, every Illinois home is required to have at least one carbon monoxide alarm, in operating condition, within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes.
Carbon monoxide monitors are the most convenient and affordable form of monitoring. Monitors should be placed in areas where your family spends most of its time i.e. bedrooms, kitchen, living room, but placed far enough away from direct sources of carbon monoxide, such as a gas stove, to avoid false alarms. The typical price range per alarm is $18 to $50 depending on the features of the alarm. Alarms are commonly sold at hardware stores or larger retailers of home products.
Did you know that carbon monoxide detectors had expiration dates? Be sure to check the date on yours and replace it if needed to help keep your family safe!
Carbon Monoxide Page - EPA
US Consumer Product Safety Commission brochure provides information on sources of carbon monoxide, symptoms of poisoning, as well as sources of and clues to a possible carbon monoxide problem: Carbon Monoxide-The Invisible Killer
CDC insert provides expert answers to the most frequently asked questions about carbon monoxide: Carbon Monoxide Q & A
Illinois Department of Public Health Factsheet about carbon monoxide