We’ve taken a lot of snow snaps today, and had a lot of fun shoveling (just kidding) here in New York where I live, but there is one thing we should not be joking about, and that’s carbon monoxide poisoning.

It’s a very possible occurrence after a significant snowstorm like Stella. Not only as there are numerous power outages in the area, resulting in use of portable heating units that may be unsafe, but also, because vents are blocked by snow drifts sending carbon monoxide gas back into your home. You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide. If household vents are blocked, poisoning could happen even while your family is awake.

According to the Patch, Danbury's Health and Human Services Department says you want to check your furnace exhaust vents as well as gas appliance, and any other household vents. Make sure they are not blocked by snowdrifts. If they're blocked, there is risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make it a part of your shoveling routine to check them, (though hopefully we won't be shoveling again until next winter). After a storm is as good a time as any to check the carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

Another important tip to remember, just sitting in a running car with a tailpipe covered by snow could prove fatal. If you start the ignition, be sure the tailpipe is cleared. It's tempting to want to let kids sit in the car while it's warming up as you dig it out, but use extreme caution.

If the tailpipe is blocked, turning your car on to warm things up could bring deadly carbon monoxide buildup right inside the cabin. On a positive note, keep in mind Spring is just around the corner!

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