Ensure that natural gas burning appliances are installed, maintained and used safely according to manufacturer instructions. Gas appliances should be checked by a qualified technician periodically to ensure that they are working properly.
It is important to be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning. Symptoms can occur immediately or more gradually after long-term exposure.
Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause flu-like symptoms, including headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea and loss of muscle control. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to serious illness and even death.
If a consumer has these symptoms after being in an enclosed area, they should go out into fresh air immediately and, depending on the severity of their condition, be transported to a hospital for emergency treatment.
Never use a gas oven or range to heat a room. The misuse of this appliance will deplete oxygen from the air and cause asphyxiation or severe carbon monoxide poisoning.
Remember not to allow vehicles, lawnmowers, snow blowers or any gasoline powered engine to idle in a garage attached to a house. CO can drift into the living space and create a hazardous situation.
Invest in carbon monoxide monitors for your home. Make sure they work properly and check the batteries regularly. If a monitor goes off, get out of your house and call 911 immediately. Then, call the “PSE&G, Police and Fire Emergency line” at 1-800-880-7734 (PSEG).
CO alarms can provide an early warning to consumers before CO builds up to a dangerous level. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends placing a carbon monoxide alarm in every area of the house. If just one alarm is installed, it should be placed near the sleeping rooms of the house. If you already have one, remember to check the batteries regularly.
PSE&G does not sell or install carbon monoxide alarms. The NJ Division of Consumer Affairs, Consumer Products Safety Commission, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) can help you make an informed decision. Look for UL or nationally recognized testing laboratory certification on any alarm you purchase, and carefully follow the instructions for placement, use and maintenance.
For additional information covering carbon monoxide emergency response and home CO alarms, check out the following websites: