Casper Fire-EMS: Don’t Let Snow Block Ventilation Pipes
The record-breaking winter has brought about a blizzard of headaches, and a potentially lethal one you might not have thought about.
The Casper Fire-EMS Department warns homeowners and renters about the carbon monoxide hazards of snow-covered horizontal ventilation pipes.
They include vent pipes for furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, pellet stoves, clothes dryers and similar appliances.
Casper Fire-EMS says it's critical that these vents remain clear of snow so carbon monoxide and other gases don't back up into your residence.
"Carbon monoxide, or 'CO,' is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you," according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CO occurs from burning fuel in vehicles, stoves, furnaces and other appliances. It can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it, according to the CDC.
"The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting chest pain and confusion." the CDC says. "CO symptoms are often described as 'flu-like.'"
Casper Fire-EMS trucks have responded to residences with a buildup of carbon monoxide and natural gas caused by blocked vents.
Check your vents as soon as you can, and periodically check them until the snowfall event has concluded.
Pipes may not look like the one shown above.
They may appear as simple as a straight pipe, a pipe with a "T" shape ending, or other configuration.