Table 1

Common causes of accidental CO poisoning

Water heater, furnaceClogged burner, blocked vent, faulty pilot light, damage from basement floodingRegular maintenance and repairs, correct installation, look for yellow flames
Fireplace, chimneyPoor ventilation because of birds’ nests, soot, leavesRegular check and sweep of chimney, chimney cap
Portable heaterAll combustion products are vented into roomKeep well maintained. Do not allow build up of rust, dirt, etc. Never use in enclosed space. Some devices have CO shutoff devices.
Kitchen range/stoveRust, clogged burner, dirt, improper installation, faulty deviceRegular maintenance and repairs, correct installation, look for yellow flames, never warm home using a natural gas or propane oven
Attached garageRunning car engine in an attached garage, especially if door closedNever warm up car engine in garage
Lawnmowers, leaf/snowblowers, fork-lift trucks,Petrol or propane driven engines use in confined spacesAwareness of the risk of using such devices in enclosed spaces, Health and Safety legislation
Indoor charcoal barbequesRelease of CO from charcoal embersNever use charcoal barbeques indoors
SCUBA compressorsCO exhaust from compressor too close to air intakeUse only authorised agencies to fill tanks