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Are you CO safe?

January 8, 2010

heating vent now clear from snow

 Winter time snow is here and the drifts are piling up all around the house.   Snow drifts can make everything a little more difficult, from the walkways  to the woodpile.  Snow drifts and deep snow can also clog up and cover over exhaust pipes and without proper ventilation,  CO or Carbon Monoxide can back up into the home or garage and can be lethal.  

According to George Cook, Farm safety specialist and 43 year volunteer fire fighter, “Anything that is carbon based and burned creates carbon monoxide.”   carbon monoxide poisoning  is a serious matter and knowing to clear all outside vents after a heavy snow is an important step to keeping safe.  

Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas and the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning often mimic symptoms of illness.  


The most common symptoms are:

headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea,vomiting. chest pain  and confusion. 

 If everyone in the family comes down with these symptoms all at the same time and in a short period while being inside, then think CO.  The best protection for your family is to install a battery operated CO  detector and to check or replace the battery two times a year.  A good reminder is to do it when you change the clocks in the spring and the fall.      Secondly, when you are out shoveling the walkway, make it a practice to check your heating vents and keep them clear as well.       

The sad thing about CO poisoning is that we are reminded every year with TV and Radio announcements, but we hear the warnings and then go about our business.  Then we hear or read about some family that was killed in a CO poisoning accident.   Lets just take a few minutes, now that you have read this whole blog,  to think about what you have to do at home remember to keep safe with the winter snow.   And while we are shoveling out our own vents, maybe taking a moment to help shovel out an elderly neighbor that might just need the help.

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