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Carbon Monoxide Safety and Detection

What is Carbon Monoxide?

carbon monoxide and generators safety

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas produced by fuel burning appliances such as gas stoves, boilers, water heaters, clothes dryers, space heaters and even generators. Commonly known as the silent killer, overexposure (most commonly due to faulty appliances) is incredibly dangerous and often results in fatalities.

How Can I Stay Safe?

Carbon Monoxide Detection

New York City law requires that every home have a carbon monoxide detector. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends installing a CO detector within 15 feet of each bedroom. Con Edison does not endorse any specific brand or model of CO detectors, but we recommend that consumers purchase one approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

An excess amount of CO will trigger the detector and an alarm will sound alerting you to the problem. A CO detector is not just the law, its vital protection for your home.

What Can I Do?

In addition to installing and maintaining CO detectors throughout your home, there are a variety of precautions you can take to further ensure safety.

  • Be sure generators and appliances are working properly and up to building code.
  • Have all heating systems, vents and flues inspected and cleaned on an annual basis by a qualified technician. Make any necessary adjustments of repairs immediately.
  • Keep your furnace of boiler's air intake supply clear from obstructions, louvered and adequately ventilated.
  • Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home.
  • Don't use propane or kerosene auxiliary heaters indoors (or in any enclosed space). Use of such heaters causes CO to build up and is illegal in New York City and parts of Westchester County.
  • Only use Barbecue grills outdoors; never in an enclosed porch or garage area.
  • Never leave your car, lawn mower or snow blower running in a garage, shed or other enclosed space.
  • If you suspect CO poisoning, evacuate the premises and call 911.
  • Have a plan. Alert family members to the signs of CO poisoning and make a plan for what to do when the alarm sounds.



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