Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Digging Out Your Car? Make Sure You Take Care of This Hidden Danger!

photo of rear of car with tailpipe clear of snow
photo of rear of car with tailpipe clear of snow
Prior to starting your vehicle, first make sure that the exhaust pipe is not covered or encased with snow, even if the vehicle is unoccupied and you are just warming it up.

Remember, the snow piled around your car can trap carbon monoxide coming from the exhaust. It can quickly incapacitate you before you realize what's happening. When the tailpipe is blocked, extremely dangerous and potentially deadly carbon monoxide fumes will be forced back into the passenger compartment and could overcome a person in a matter of seconds. 

The very first action you should taking when digging out a vehicle is to clear away the snow from the tailpipe a distance of at least 3 feet and keep checking that it remains clear which you shovel out your car. Never let children sit in an idling car while shoveling. Clear snow from the exhaust pipe and leave the engine off until the car is ready to roll. 

car covered in snow
Car re-covered in snow after plow
County residents who park on streets or in apartment and townhouse complexes need to be especially vigilant. Parking conditions are often changing due to the complexity of plow operations and the potential for obstructions to tailpipes/exhaust systems as snow gets relocated and piled up in many parking lots.  Many times, people are returning to different spaces and parking conditions may have been altered by weather, plows, etc. 

Reminder: Never warm up your car in the garage!

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