Vermont Gas

Your best defense against
Carbon Monoxide (CO)

CO detector
with battery back-up

Carbon monoxide (CO) is colorless, odorless and tasteless. CO is produced from the incomplete combustion of any carbon-based fuel such as oil, propane, kerosene, wood or natural gas. Exposure to small quantities of CO can cause flu-like symptoms. Higher levels can be dangerous – even fatal. The hazard arises when appliances malfunction.
Be alert to potential CO sources in your home (click to enlarge)

Know the symptoms:
• Dizziness, nausea, headache and coughing.
• Irregular heartbeat.

Important safety precautions:
• Install CO detectors with battery back-up in your home.
• Have an annual heating system checkup.
• Properly maintain and ventilate your appliances.
• Keep all sidewall vents clear of brush and snow.
• Never run a vehicle in the garage, even with the door open. CO can seep into your home.
• Inspect your chimney for any blockages.
• Never heat your home or building with your gas range or oven.
• Do not use your gas (or charcoal) grill in enclosed areas.

If you suspect CO poisoning:
• Seek fresh air and remain outside.
• Call 911 or your local fire department.

Get a CO detector now!
Buy it from a home center, hardware store or contact your local fuel dealer. The model should have battery back-up, so that you’ll be protected even in a power outage.

IMPORTANT: State and local codes require hard-wired CO detectors in certain situations. For guidance visit the Vermont Department of Public Safety website:

Keep sidewall vents clear
Beware of exhaust getting trapped by snow around a sidewall vent.

Sidewall vents are common in new heating and water heating systems, especially high efficiency units. These vents act as a breathing device for these systems. They take in fresh air and mix it with fuel to produce heat, while discharging exhaust fumes that can include carbon monoxide (CO).

If a vent becomes buried in snow or obstructed by a shrub, this may shut down your equipment – or draw exhaust fumes into your home, which can produce high levels of CO inside your house.

To prevent these problems, it’s important to remove snow around the vent approximately 48 inches in all directions, and trim any shrubs around the vent, so that your equipment can discharge exhaust.

Install vents at the highest possible level, per manufacturer’s instructions, but no less than 12 inches above the ground. We recommend placing signage by sidewall vents for easy identification.

Contact your local fuel supplier or fire department.

Clear Sidewall Vents

Keep Meters Clear

CO Video