GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Wisconsinites are familiar with snowstorms and often seek warmth during them.

However, the Green Bay Metro Fire Department is encouraging residents to leave their homes for a short period and check vent pipes.

“Outside right now, we’re seeing major snow drifts, and sometimes those snow drifts seem to be pushed kind of toward where our furnace vents, our dryer vents may be,” said Public Information Officer Shauna Walesh.

As the snow falls, first responders are encouraging you to clean outdoor vents from snow, especially before running dryers.

“One of the biggest things that I could advise people right now is to make sure you check especially before you run your dryer, any of that, go outside and make sure that those areas are clear.” 

Walesh says if the appliances aren’t clear, the results could be deadly. 

“If those things are blocked, it can cause the backup of carbon monoxide, which is considered a silent killer, so there’s not a lot of signs and symptoms until it’s a little bit too late,” stated Walesh. 

Officials with the Wisconsin Public Service say they recommend using household items to remove snow and ice safely.

“Use a brush or a broom to keep those clear of any snow and ice,” said Wisconsin Public Service’s Matthew Cullen. “A buildup of snow and ice on your natural gas meter can damage the piping that’s on that meter, and that could create a natural gas leak.”

Cullen added that customers should evacuate if they suspect a gas leak in their homes. 

“They need to leave the area immediately and then contact WPS (Wisconsin Public Service) once they’re a safe distance away so that we can send our crews out to the area, repair that damage and restore natural gas service to a customer’s home.”