As the snow piles continue to grow, and even though Michiganders are used to heavy snow and cold temperatures, the Michigan Public Service Commission has sent out a reminder. They want to be sure that snow is cleared around chimneys, vents, and utility meters.
The MPSC says clearing snow is a life-or-death issue. If carbon monoxide comes back into the house, occupants could become victims of CO poisoning. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, weakness and nausea. If poisoning is suspected, victims need to get into fresh air immediately and call 911.
To prevent problems, residents should make sure chimneys and air intake valves are not blocked by snow or ice. High-efficiency furnace users should make sure white plastic intake valves are not blocked. Mobile home residents and residents of homes with flat roofs are asked to be especially aware of rooftop drifting that can block chimneys.
Finally, attention needs to be paid to utility meters. Snow or ice buildup can alter the readings and functioning. They need to be carefully cleared to avoid breakage.
Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland