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Learn About Carbon Monoxide to Prevent Poisoning

The risk of carbon monoxide exposure occurs more frequently in colder months when people use    furnaces, fireplaces and portable generators to stay warm. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a dangerous gas that you cannot smell, taste or see. Breathing in carbon monoxide can displace the oxygen in your blood, causing carbon monoxide poisoning. Severe cases of carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly.

The stages of carbon monoxide poisoning produce unexplained symptoms, such as:

•           Sudden flu-like symptoms

•           Headaches, shortness of breath, fatigue

•           Nausea or vomiting

•           Dizziness, light-headedness, drowsiness, or mental confusion

•           Rapid or fluttering heartbeat

•           Unconsciousness

Listed below are the most common signs of carbon monoxide:

•           A yellow, large and unsteady natural gas appliance burner flame

            (with the exception of decorative natural gas log appliances).

•           An unusual pungent odor when the appliance is operating.

•           Unexplained nausea, drowsiness and flu-like symptoms.

If you think that carbon monoxide may be present in your home or office:

•           If it's safe to do so, immediately turn off the suspected gas appliance and windows to ventilate the area.

•           Evacuate the building.

•           Call 911 and seek immediate medical attention if anyone experiences any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

•           Call SoCalGas at 1-800-427-2200 to have the appliance inspected.

•           Don't use the suspected appliance until it's been inspected, serviced and determined to be safe.

California's Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 requires that all residential properties with a fossil fuel burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage be equipped with an approved carbon monoxide alarm for each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Be sure to take the necessary precautions to avoid an   unsafe or unwanted condition. For more info visit www.socalgas.com.