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Clear Snow from Heating Equipment Exhaust: It Will Save Your Life

The Lexington Fire Department reminds us of the dangers of carbon monoxide and how snow accumulation outside can result in dangerous conditions inside a home.

The following information was provided by the Lexington Fire Department.

The Lexington Fire Department responded to seven calls during the stormy weekend all related to blocked or partially blocked heating system exhausts resulting in the build-up of deadly carbon monoxide gas within the home. We are urging all residents to evaluate the type of heating equipment in their home and how it exhausts out of the house.

Typically most gas and oil-fired equipment exhaust into a chimney, which is usually not an issue. However, newer-type gas and oil-fired equipment allow for exhaust through the side wall of your home. It is this type of heating system installation that is affected by large snow fall amounts or blowing and drifting snow.

Please be aware some models of high efficiency heating equipment do not produce enough heat to melt snow around the exhaust. If your have questions regarding the type of heating equipment in your home, please consult with your service company. A conscious effort by the homeowner is required to keep snow from building up around this exhaust. 

We cannot stress the importance of having sufficient number of operating smoke and carbon monoxide alarms within your home. In nearly all the incidents this weekend, operating carbon monoxide alarms successfully detected high levels of carbon monoxide in the homes and warned occupants.

All homes are required to have at least an operating smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector on every level of the home. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide are essential life saving equipment.

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