You’ve probably never thought about it. But every year, dozens of people die from this during the winter.
The culprit is none other than carbon monoxide. How?
Carbon monoxide has been called the “silent killer,” a colorless, odorless, tasteless — and toxic — gas that causes people to lose consciousness in minutes.
As reported by the Washington Post,
“A family in New Jersey, trapped over the weekend in the massive East Coast snowstorm, was trying to dig its way out when the chill became too much to handle. The mother and her children — ages 1 and 3 — huddled in the car with the engine running to keep warm. The kids’ father tried to clear the snow outside.
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Authorities said no one seemed to realize that the tailpipe was clogged with snow, pushing deadly carbon monoxide gas into the car. When the father went to check on them, police said, he could not wake them up.”
Anyone could’ve made the same mistake. Sadly, the mother and her 1-year-old son passed away that day, while the 3-year-old is in critical condition.
This isn’t something that many of us would think to check during a snowstorm. Yet, spending the extra time making sure that your exhaust pipe is cleared could save your life.
“Any snow that covers your tailpipe you want to shovel the snow from the back of the car and clear the tailpipe before you even start the car,” Battalion Chief Chris DiBella told WABC.
3 Ways To Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- always shovel from the back of your car to the front
- make sure your exhaust pipe is cleared
- never leave your car turned on if you’re stuck in a snowstorm or buried under snow