How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

Some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often confused with the flu.

carbon monoxide detector

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Columbia Gas is offering tips on how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

The company says carbon monoxide incidents occur more often during colder seasons, since heating systems run more frequently.

Carbon monoxide can be produced by heating systems that use natural gas, oil, coal or wood when they are poorly ventilated.


  • Install carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Be sure all fuel-burning equipment is installed and vented properly.
  • Have appliances installed by a professional.
  • Have your heating system checked by your fuel supplier or a licensed heating contractor.
  • Provide adequate ventilation in the house when using stoves, fireplaces or space heaters.
  • Open garage doors before starting a vehicle.


  • Never burn charcoal or use a gas grill indoors or in an enclosed space.
  • Never use your stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Never repair a snow blower or vehicle indoors without proper ventilation.
  • Never warm up the car without opening garage doors.

Columbia Gas said anyone who suspects carbon monoxide or a natural gas leak should leave the home immediately and call 911.

Some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may resemble the flu: fatigue, headaches dizziness, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, weakness, and loss of coordination. Signs carbon monoxide might be present inside the home include foul-smelling or stale air, the smell of exhaust fumes, yellow or orange flames on gas ranges, soot around the chimney, and large areas of condensation on walls or windows.