BIDDEFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's going to take days for Mainers to dig out from the Blizzard of 2013, but not clearing the snow away from certain parts of your home can be dangerous.
Firefighters have responded to several reports of carbon monoxide poisoning over the past two days, because the snow is blocking the vents for heating systems and trapping the deadly gas inside people's homes. The Biddeford Fire Department transported several people to the hospital because of carbon monoxide poisoning on Saturday, including Bob Mills and his family.
"When I went out to check on my kids they had been vomiting, they were dizzy, had bad headaches and I called the police department back and the fire department was here within seconds" Mills said.
"Because of that snowfall they're completely blocked," Lt. Justin Cooper said. "People just aren't aware of it. They're taking care of a lot of other things, and it's the last thing on their mind, and there just isn't enough heat coming out of that vent port to melt away the snow."
These are the safety tips Cooper offered as you dig out from the storm:
- Shovel at least four feet in all directions around heating vents.
- Clear snow from all of the entrances to your home.
- Keep fire hydrants in your neighborhood clear of snow.
- Do not run your car's engine if snow is blocking the exhaust pipe.