Fire department reminder: Keep vents clear of snow

Charlotte Fire Department officials remind local residents to keep exhaust vents clear of the snow from the weekend storm to allow for proper ventilation.

Early Monday morning, Charlotte Fire and Rescue was called to a house with a blocked vent and found carbon monoxide levels to be dangerously high, according to Deputy Fire Chief Rob Mullin.

The call came around 12:30 a.m., and as soon as rescuers went inside, their meters for detecting dangerous levels of carbon monoxide went off, Mullin said.

Firefighters determined that a vent was obstructed by snow. An alarm had gone off at the home and the fire department was notified by the owner’s home security system, Mullin explained.

The gas inside the home wasn’t at a lethal level yet and the family was fine, but it could have been a much worse outcome, he noted.

That’s because the home had a carbon monoxide detector that went off earlier, but the residents turned it off. Mullin said people should not ignore an alarm and go back to sleep.

“It may save your life,” he said.

In this case, fire and rescue was alerted by the homeowner’s alarm company because the home was connected to a security system that included the CO detector.

The lesson here: If your alarm goes off, call 911, Mullin said.

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