Carbon monoxide safety
When you use any fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas furnace, without enough oxygen, it can create carbon monoxide (CO)—a toxic, colorless, tasteless and odorless gas.
If you suspect carbon monoxide exposure, call 911 immediately.
How to know
Symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure may include:
Carbon monoxide detectors (CO alarms) can alert you when the amount of CO in your home is approaching dangerous levels. Install them by bedroom entrances, in common areas and near areas containing fuel-burning appliances. If your home has multiple floors, install at least one per level.
When installing CO alarms within your home, carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding placement. Alarms must be positioned properly or they may be unable to adequately protect you from exposure.
Check your CO alarms regularly to be sure they are in working order.
To limit your exposure to carbon monoxide:
- Make sure that natural gas appliances are maintained and operated according to manufacturer recommendations.
- Never operate a gas grill or generator indoors.
- Don't open the door of a gas oven to heat your home.
Carbon monoxide versus natural gas
Both carbon monoxide and natural gas are naturally odorless and potentially harmful. But unlike carbon monoxide, natural gas is injected with a "rotten egg" odor to help you detect leaks or exposure.
To learn more about natural gas leaks, visit our Detect a Leak section.
We can help
If you think a fuel-burning appliance is not operating safely or you're having problems with a pilot light, call PSE at 1-888-225-5773 and schedule a service technician to perform an on-site investigation for free. Depending on the diagnosis, our technician can perform minor repairs on site for a fee.
To learn more about carbon monoxide safety, visit these resources: