Carbon Monoxide is considered a “Silent Killer”. Do you know the symptoms?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Carbon Monoxide is labeled as a silent killer. The toxic gas is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.  There are several dangerous side effects from exposure to the gas.

If your body is exposed to too much, it can kill you.

Huntsville Fire Investigator Michael Jaco said carbon monoxide is produced primarily when you have solid fuels or gas burning. He said it's basically what's left over that doesn't burn.

It happens too many times people get sick or even die when they're exposed to the toxic gas. "Anytime you have an open flame it requires oxygen to continue to flame, and the by-products that are left over are the carbon monoxide," Jaco said.

Jaco said a lot of times people confuse flu-like symptoms with being exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide. Symptoms like headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness.

He said if one person in your home or workplace are experiencing those symptoms; they might have an illness, if multiple people are having issues then that's a red flag that carbon monoxide might be present.

He goes on to say if you have a gas stove, fireplace, or kerosene heater those can cause high levels of carbon monoxide. "Basically any material you burn, solid fuel gas, any kind of open flame anything that consumes the oxygen in the room is going to produce carbon monoxide,' Jaco explained.

He said the biggest component of controlling carbon monoxide levels is to refresh the air in the room. He said when it's cold people like to keep their home full of heat and tight. He said homes need fresh air in them to circulate.

But thankfully there are carbon monoxide detectors out there that can help keep you safe.