'Tis the season for shoveling, and your driveway isn't the only thing that needs to be cleared off. Minnesota Fire Departments and First Responders are reminding us all to keep the exhaust pipes on our homes free of snow.

As the snow starts to drift against your house, homeowners with high-efficiency furnaces should make sure their fresh air intake and exhaust pipes are free of snow. They're usually white plastic pipes that come out of the side of a home. A blocked intake pipe or exhaust vent could result in carbon monoxide poisoning. The same is true for dryer vents. Check vents frequently during periods of heavy or blowing snow.

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When these are blocked it can cause carbon monoxide to build up in the home. It is colorless, odorless, and known as the silent killer for a reason. Make sure all your carbon monoxide detectors are in working order and placed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.

If the alarm goes off, or you think you may have CO in your home, call 911 immediately and leave the building.

Have a safe winter!

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