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Helena fire officials advise residents to clear snow from around vents and fire hydrants

Posted at 5:12 PM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 20:24:10-05

HELENA – Helena fire officials warned residents Monday afternoon to clear snow from around vents and exhaust panels of gas and propane-fired appliances.

When vents for gas-fired appliances like hot water heaters or dryers are blocked, it can cause a dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide in the home.

The fire department said it has received several calls for blocked vents and carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. Exposure can sometimes cause sudden flu-like symptoms, such as headache, nausea, and dizziness. But if something goes wrong with your furnace or any other gas appliance and you are already asleep, you may never know.

A carbon monoxide alarm is the best way to protect yourself and your family.

Car exhaust is another common form of carbon monoxide poisoning. If your car becomes stuck in a snowbank or drift, make sure snow is cleared from around the tailpipe to prevent carbon monoxide buildup in the vehicle.

The fire department also reminds residents to clear snow from around fire hydrants. Snow must be cleared 3 ft. on each side of the hydrant.

Fire officials said if you have any questions, call them at 406-447-8472