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Be Safe and Be Sure You have Carbon Monoxide Detectors During Snow Storms – Boston, Sudbury, MA

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

There is a lot of snow outside, and it is still falling. PLEASE be sure you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home and that they are equipped with back-up batteries.

When the snowfall begins, weather forecasters and emergency management officials talk about the increasingly common threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Weather that causes power outages also often results in reports of carbon monoxide poisoning from gasoline-powered generators and other heating equipment. But mammoth snowfalls also cover and block vehicle exhaust pipes, which can cause carbon monoxide to build up inside the passenger area. And snow buildup on rooftops can block flues and vents, restricting the flow of oxygen to furnaces and water heaters and causing the deadly gas to accumulate inside the home.

Unfortunately, this happens whenever there's a big snowstorm.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas produced by burning fuel without enough oxygen for combustion. It is deadly in large doses.

During heavy snow, be sure to clear snow away from outdoor vents, as well as from your vehicle’s exhaust pipe before starting the engine.  Also, never use outdoor grills and patio heaters indoors. Portable generators should be used according to the manufacturer's instructions, which usually states to use them in open areas that are at least 50 feet away from your home.

Call 911 if you think there is any chance you or a family member has been exposed to carbon monoxide.

The National Weather Service released a list of warnings for snow storms, and guarding against exposure to carbon monoxide from portable generators and heaters is No. 1.

For more information, contact West Sport in Sudbury.

Excerpts - baltimoresun.com