NH Fire Marshall Warns of Danger of Heavy Snow and Drifts

degnanNH State Fire Marshal l J. William Degnan warns citizens to watch out for the effects of Monday’s compounding storm. Although smaller, Monday’s wintery mix adds significant weight to the snow pack created by last weekend storm.
The changeover of Monday’s storm to all rain was absorbed by the existing snow pack and the added water content will add extra of weight to flat roofs.
The fierce winds of Nemo caused significant drifting of snow and the drifts often cover vents and heating equipment.
Often this drifting will cover vent terminations for heating equipment Make sure you know where yours are. Heating equipment needs air to operate properly and expel the by-products of combustion to the outside. If vents are covered with snow, the equipment will not operate properly and start filling your home with deadly carbon monoxide, which is colorless and odorless.
Here are some tips to remember.

  • Remove snow from low pitch or flat roofs. Using a snow rake from the ground remove snow from any roof with a low or flat pitch including any roof that is suspected of premature failure.
  • Do not climb on roofs or use ladders. Save this task for professionals.
    Start early, don’t wait. With each additional inch of rain that falls, the snow on roofs will increase with weight. Dense snow is harder and more dangerous to remove.


  • Clear snow away from vents. Direct vented equipment normally utilizes a horizontal venting arrangement. Walk around your house. If your heating equipment, such as a furnace or water heater, is located in the basement, you will normally find your direct vent termination just above the ground on the outside wall. It might be plastic pipe or metal pipe.Clear snow away from these important vents. This includes dryer vents.
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