Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can’t be seen or smelled.The odorless, colorless gas (CO) is formed during incomplete burning of fuels, such as gasoline, kerosene, natural gas, oil, coal or wood. Carbon monoxide is also found in cigarette smoke and vehicle exhaust. In homes, carbon monoxide can quickly build up from a poorly vented or malfunctioning heater, furnace, range, generator or any fuel-powered appliance, or even from a car left idling in a garage.

Carbon monoxide is the most common cause of fatal poisonings. Carbon monoxide prevents oxygen from getting into the body, causing tissue damage and even death.

The Rock County Public Health Department checks for the presence of functioning CO detectors at hotels, motels and recreational camps throughout the county, as part of routine annual inspections. The Department also conducts community education on carbon monoxide poisoning, through social media and press releases.