Safety Quiz: Being Aware of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is found in fumes produced by burning fuel. When breathed in significant concentrations, it’s very dangerous because it deprives the heart and brain of oxygen.

The scary part is that carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless. That means you could easily breathe it in without ever knowing it.

The way to Be Prepared to deal with carbon monoxide at home or at camp is to know where it comes from and how to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide-related situations.

Find out more information on carbon monoxide poisoning and the use of generators, then come back and take our quiz.

  1. Which of the following is a source of CO?
    a. portable generators
    b. car left running
    c. operating a grill in a garage
    d. gas or wood-burning fireplace
    e. all of the above
  2. CO poisoning most often occurs:
    a. in wide open outdoor spaces
    b. in a small or closed-off room
    c. in a vehicle driving down the road
    d. in busy urban areas

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  3. Possible symptoms of CO poisoning most often are:
    a. headache, dizziness, nausea, disorientation and sleepiness
    b. headache, sore throat, cough, tightness in the chest
    c. excitability, cough, tightness in the chest
    d. burning sensation at the tips of your fingers due to lack of blood flow
  4. True or false: It’s OK to run a portable generator inside a pop-up tent as long as the tent is big enough to allow for good air circulation.
  5. Store portable generators:
    a. inside so they are protected from the elements
    b. only in an interior closet or attic
    c. inside but near an open window
    d. outside and away from doors, windows and vents
  6. If you experience CO poisoning symptoms (dizziness, headaches, nausea, etc.), you should first:
    a. call 911
    b. do some exercises to increase blood flow
    c. get to fresh air immediately
    d. hold your breath until help arrives

    Photo by Getty Images/Istockphoto
  7. Who is at risk of CO poisoning?
    a. infants
    b. adults
    c. the elderly
    d. only people with underlying conditions, such as chronic heart disease or breathing problems
    e. everyone
  8. You should place your CO detector in your home:
    a. where it will wake you up if it goes off
    b. near a child’s room
    c. in the attic
    d. in the basement
  9. A malfunctioning heating system; water heater; or gas, oil or coal-burning appliances can cause CO to enter a house. The CDC recommends you have these items checked by a qualified technician:
    a. once every five years
    b. once per year
    c. twice per year (do it when you change your clocks, if it helps you remember)
    d. every month
  10. True or false: It’s OK to leave a car running in a garage (say, to warm it up in the winter) as long as the garage door is open.

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Scroll down for the answers …




  1. e.
  2. b.
  3. a
  4. False. Never use a portable generator inside a structure, building or trailer. This includes partially enclosed areas like pop-up tents or pavilions wrapped in plastic.
  5. d
  6. c
  7. e. Everyone is at risk from CO poisoning. However, infants, the elderly, and people with chronic heart disease, anemia or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from CO.
  8. a.
  9. b.
  10. False. Never run your car or truck inside a garage that is attached to a house even with the garage door open.

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