RPU shares cold weather utility tips

Cold Weather Utility Tips from RPU

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(ABC 6 News) – Four people were taken to the hospital over the weekend after a possible carbon monoxide leak at a Rochester hotel. Now, officials want to remind all of us about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and other utility problems we could face as the days get colder.

When you take a walk through your home there are some things you may not think about. One of those things, carbon monoxide.

“Carbon monoxide is actually very dangerous. It’s colorless and odorless so you can’t see it our smell it,’ said Kris Jungels with Rochester Fire.

The CDC says most CO exposures and poisonings happen in the fall and winter because people are inside more using their gas-powered appliances like stoves, furnaces and heaters.

“The number one thing that customers can do to keep them safe this winter is make sure they have a working carbon monoxide detector,” said Alison Troupy a spokesperson for Minnesota Energy Resources.

Officials say daylight saving time is always a great reminder to make sure your detector is working. They also want to remind people it’s Minnesota state law to have a working carbon monoxide detector inside your house.

“There are lots of models available. There are some that are battery operated there are some that you plug and there are some that are both in case you suffer a power outage,” said Troupy.

And those power outages are where Rochester Public Utilities comes in.

“In the winter you know you get the heavy snow on limbs and a lot of times that will cause a tree limb to break and hang on the line,” said Communications Coordinator for RPU Tony Benson.

RPU says don’t try cutting down tree limbs yourself. Call RPU and they will have someone take care of it for you.

Another thing RPU will have to monitor this winter are watermains. “As frost gets deeper into the group the greater chance one might burst,” said Benson.

If it’s a life-threatening situation call 9-1-1 right away, but also make sure to call Minnesota energy resources or RPU or whoever your provider might be for any questions you might have.