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After the Steinbach Fire Department responded to a potentially harmful case of carbon-monoxide entering a home on Wednesday, they have issued an advisory.

Local residents are encouraged to be wary of their furnace outlets and inlets on the outside of their homes as the recent high winds and cold weather could cause them to drift over or freeze.

Upon reaching the affected residence at around 11:30 PM on Wenesday, Assistant Fire Chief Russ Reimer says his crews detected high measurements of carbon-monoxide. Reimer also noticed snow obstructed pipes on the exterior of the building and expects this may have been the root of the problem.

Chad Brown from Brown’s Plumbing and Heating says this specific scenario is not terribly common, but nevertheless agrees with Reimer about the importance of keeping your furnace inputs and outputs clear.

“Make sure that they stay free of ice and snow,” stresses Brown, “If those guys get blocked up, your furnace will switch off and you’ll have no heat.”

Brown admits that this can be a little bit more difficult for those with exhaust ports on their roof, but he says most homes nowadays have ventilation coming out the side of them.

On the topic of carbon monoxide leaks, Brown offers some more knowledge: “Usually the way carbon monoxide gets into a house is if a heat exchanger has a crack or a break in it.”

While this is not necessarily more likely to happen when it is cold, people tend to use more heat in the winter and so the problem can be magnified.

Ultimately Brown urges any one who uses gas furnaces or other gas appliances to have a carbon monoxide detector on every floor to keep everyone safe.

 

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