Things to shovel that can save your life

Uncovering your vents can prevent the build up of carbon monoxide gas

A fire hydrant remains buried on School Street Monday. (Photo by The Westfield News/Frederick Gore)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Shoveling can save your life. We’re not talking about driveways or sidewalks, we’re talking about other important things you may not have considered. Like a fire hydrant, a dryer vent, a furnace vent, or a car exhaust pipe.

“I never think one moment about it,” admitted Leonard Cohen of Northampton. “I haven’t thought about it. It’s a good thing to think about. I think about doing the driveways and the walkways and that where it ends.”

Uncovering your vents and exhaust pipes can prevent the build up of deadly and odorless carbon monoxide gas. It’s also a good idea to shovel your home’s hatchway. During a fire, it may be a way to escape.

The Northampton Fire Department told 22News that you can help them help you by shoveling out a fire hydrant near your home. They said in the event of a fire, seconds really do matter, and that it can mean the difference between life and death.

“If we get dispatched for a structure fire and we get to the scene and we can’t find the fire hydrant, or if we have to go looking for it, we’re taking valuable time away from the firefighting and rescue effort,” said Northampton Fire Department Captain Matthew Lemberg.

For safety’s sake, they attach reflective extension poles to top of each hydrant. They shovel out about 100 hydrants in one day.

“We have a hydrant down here on the corner and we always sure that its clear all the way around so it has access on all sides and there’s also vents around the house that we make sure are not clogged up,” said Mark Roessler of Northampton.

It’s important to have working C.O. and smoke detectors in your home to alert you to carbon monoxide or a fire.

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