Cold weather dangers in your home

Published: Jan. 15, 2018 at 9:06 PM CST
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Staying inside on days like these may seem like a luxury, but heading outside - if only briefly - can be a life saver.

"Nobody's safe from it. Everybody can be affected the same way," says Michael Sylstad, a firefighter with the West Fargo Fire Department.

Ice, snow, and wind all play a part in making your home dangerous.

"This winter, we haven't seen that amount of snow yet, but with the wind blowing - you could end up with drifts in strange places," says Mark Nisbet, with Xcel Energy.

If those snow drifts pile up around your gas meter...

"It can have significant impacts on your system to the point that the gas pressure is incorrect and could lead to a gas build up in your dwelling," says Nisbet. "If you smell natural gas, you'll make sure to want to leave the house before a spark could possibly ignite."

And an explosion isn't the only concern.

"We've also had some scenarios from this year in specific that we've had very large or very high number of carbon monoxide within a household that could've been very, very bad," says Captain Jason Carriveau, with the West Fargo Fire Department.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is more common in the winter - partly due to snow drifts.

"The drifts are going to cover up vents alongside the house. And the vents are used for the gases to escape your system such as a furnace," says Capt. Carriveau. "Even up on your roofs. To make sure those vents up high are clear as well."

So while you may not want to - going outside on days like these could make the difference between a fun day off or a life-threatening emergency.