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Heavy snow increases risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in home


Written by Stefan Hinman   
Monday, 09 January 2012 16:53

Carbon MonoxideMat-Su– This winter's above average snowfall has borough residents shoveling more than usual. With a winter weather advisory in effect calling for heavy snow and wind, now is a good time to make your furnace, dryer and sewer vents a safety priority by clearing snow from around them before taking care of your driveway.

Casey Cook, Emergency Manager of the Mat-Su borough, believes this is largely overlooked by most residents. “As the snow is blown around with high winds, it can clog furnace, dryer and sewer vents which will result in the build-up of carbon monoxide (CO) in the home.  We get roughly 5-6 carbon monoxide-related calls per week."

You cannot smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Infants, elderly people or those with a history of respiratory disease can be especially susceptible. Symptoms of CO poisoning are severe headaches, nausea, and dizziness.  If this occurs, you should leave the house immediately and call 911 for further instructions. It is critical to not only have the vents cleared and inspected regularly, but to have CO detectors in the home with fresh batteries installed. Taking these steps could be a life and death decision for you and your family.

 For more information call Casey Cook at 373-8812 or Stefan Hinman at 745-9520


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