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What is carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas that can kill, so don’t be complacent.

Carbon monoxide is produced when some fuels – such as LP Gas, diesel, petrol or natural gas – don’t burn properly. These fuels need a lot of air and the right gas supply pressure to burn safely.

Carbon monoxide is generally not produced in harmful concentrations when fuels burn properly. But faulty or poorly maintained appliances, may produce carbon monoxide. The burning process can be affected by:

  • poor ventilation
  • an appliance flue or exhaust not located correctly
  • the wrong supply pressure
  • dust blocking gas ports

Symptoms of low level carbon monoxide poisoning

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • breathlessness
  • collapsing
  • losing consciousness

Related information

Updated: 01 Feb 2021

This page has been produced and published by the Consumer Building and Occupational Services Division of the Department of Justice. Although every care has been taken in production, no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy, completeness, or relevance to the user's purpose of the information. Those using it for whatever purpose are advised to verify it with the relevant government department, local government body or other source and to obtain any appropriate professional advice. The Crown, its officers, employees and agents do not accept liability however arising, including liability for negligence, for any loss resulting from the use of or reliance upon the information and/or reliance on its availability at any time.