​Carbon Monoxide

Every year, approximately 500 people die in the U. S. from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced by portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, and from burning charcoal and wood.  Effective January 1, 2007, every Illinois home is required to have at least one carbon monoxide alarm, in an operating condition, within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes.

Carbon Monoxide Data:

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 are among the highest fatalities.

During 2010–2015, a total of 2,244 deaths resulted from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, with the highest numbers of deaths each year occurring in winter months. In 2015, a total of 393 deaths resulting from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning occurred, with 36% of the deaths occurring in December, January, or February.
Source: National Vital Statistics System. Mortality public use data files, 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data_access/vitalstatsonline.htm.

Carbon Monoxide Testing Information for Homes:

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 place 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 from hardware stores or larger retailers of home products.

Resources

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