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Residents Urged To Keep Appliance Vents Clear of Snow

Web posted on February 10, 2014

Guelph, On, February 10, 2014 The Guelph Fire Department is asking residents to remove snow from exterior vents connected to heating appliances.

This warning follows a recent increase in emergency calls where responding firefighters found high levels of carbon monoxide in local residences. Carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, is known as a silent killer because it is colourless, odourless, and tasteless.

"We remind residents that when clearing snow on their properties they should also check for possible snow build-up around exterior exhaust vents attached to fuel-burning appliances and heating systems such as fireplaces and furnaces. Blockages in these vents can cause carbon monoxide to accumulate inside a home," says Kim Hodgson, chief fire prevention officer.

Last November, the Ontario legislature passed a private member's billHawkins-Gignac Actrequiring carbon monoxide detectors in all homes with a fuel-burning appliance, heating system, fireplace or attached garage.

"Under the new law, residents using fuel-fired appliances must have functioning carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. These devices can help save lives," says Hodgson.

Residents are also encouraged to inspect vents and gas meters regularly, regardless of the season, to ensure appliances are working optimally. Visit for more fire safety information.