(WGGB) — Carbon Monoxide is a big concern after storms like this and that’s why firefighters are warning about the dangers of it entering your home.
Rob Reid was sleeping through the snowstorm early Saturday when he heard a pounding at his door.
“Got woke up about 5:00 a.m. I guess with the fire department here,” Reid notes.
They were responding to the Cedar Street Apartments after carbon monoxide alarms starting sounding after snow clogged up household vents.
Reid adds, “I usually keep mine clean. My sons take turns doing it but i forgot to tell him to do it.”
So did Reid’s neighbors. Firefighters found dangerous levels of CO in both apartments, so they evacuated both families.
Longmeadow Fire Chief Eric Madison says high efficiency furnaces and hot water heaters pose the biggest threats.
“What happens is the snow piles up against the vent. It doesn’t allow the furnace to operate properly and it creates a carbon monoxide danger,” says Madison.
Firefighters say when you are clearning out the vents, you should clear a couple feet in each direction because chances are over the next couple of days, more snow will drift back towards the house.
“Just keep an eye on it and keep it clear and we should be okay,” Madison adds.
You can’t see, smell, or hear carbon monoxide. That’s why it’s called the silent killer.
Firefighters credit a working carbon monoxide detector saving Reid’s family and his neighbors from poisoning and in the process reminded everyone how critical shoveling out your vents can be.
“You can go to sleep and don’t wake up or you wake up and your kids don’t” says Reid.
State law requires every home have a CO detector.
If you think you may have CO poisoning, call 911 immediately. Symptoms of CO poisoning include nasuea, vomiting, extreme fatigue, and general flu like symptoms.