It doesn't smell and you can't see it, but it can kill you, fast.

Carbon monoxide poisoning has been responsible for sending numerous Maine residents to the hospital recently.

Yesterday in Gorham, Emergency Medical Technicians were called to an apartment house where people "were not feeling very well at all."  Six residents were rushed to the hospital.  They people said that they hadn't been feeling well for several days. Little did they know that an outside vent from a boiler had been blocked by snow and a pipe had cracked.

Last Tuesday in Bar Harbor a mother and her three children were rushed to MDI hospital when they awoke in their apartment not feeling well.  The exhaust pipe from a direct vent propane heater was blocked by snow.

According to Northern New England Poison Center,  Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont will normally see up to 8 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning per week.  Those numbers have increased this year due to the snowfall.

During the heavy snowfall here in Maine it's vitally important to keep all exhaust vents from any sort of heating unit free and clear of snow!  You may think that they already are, but with the blowing and drifting of the recent fluffy light snow they may not be.

Ask any fire department official, anyone who works with furnaces, heaters or stoves, and they'll all tell you how important it is to have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home!  It's different from a smoke detector and just as important.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Flu like symptoms

Carbon monoxide detectors are available at any hardware or big box store.  Need help with installation?  Any fire department can help.