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Carbon Monoxide

Carbon MonoxideCarbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, fatigue/weakness, sleepiness and mental confusion, nausea/vomiting, irregular breathing, chest pain, faintness, or loss of consciousness. If you feel these symptoms, get fresh air immediately. Consult a physician if the symptoms are mild. If the symptoms are severe, call 911. Donít ignore the symptoms, especially if more than one person is feeling them.

Anytime fueled appliances (water heaters, furnaces, clothes dryers, range/stove, fireplaces, wood stoves, etc.) are used in the house, there is potential for CO buildup if the appliances are not properly vented to the outside.

What can you do to prevent this from happening in your home?

  • Install a CO2 Detector in your home
  • Never use a portable, fueled heater (gas, oil, propane, kerosene, etc.), or an unvented heater in your home or recreational vehicle.  They can cause a CO buildup.
  • Never use a gas oven to heat your home.
  • Never use a charcoal or propane fueled barbecue indoors.
  • Never idle the car in the garage for extended periods of time or with the garage door closed.
  • Never use a generator inside your home.
  • Have your chimney checked or cleaned every year.  Chimneys blocked by debris can cause CO to build up.
  • Have your fuel-fired (gas, oil, propane, etc.) appliances inspected by a trained technician for proper venting. 
Beginning July 1, 2010, there are new Oregon State requirements for carbon monoxide alarms for rentals and homes that are sold. View the requirements in this PDF:
Additional Department Information

Fire and Life Safety Department Contacts

Medford Fire-Rescue Fire & Life Safety Division
200 South Ivy Street, Room #180
Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 774-2300
Fax: (541) 774-2514
Contact: Battalion Chief - Fire Marshal Chase Browning
Hours: Mon - Fri, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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