Winter Weather Handbook: Chimney Preps

Winter Weather Handbook

(WBRE/WYOU-TV) Meteorological winter is coming soon and your Eyewitness Weather Team has been working hard on this year’s Winter Outlook. But before the best and worst of winter weather comes our way we want you to be prepared.

Eyewitness News Reporter Kristina Shalhoup has the latest on some preparations you should take around your home before the weather gets too bitter.

With average low temperatures in the winter months in the teens and twenties,
There’s certainly good reason behind wanting to blast the heat in your home, one way or another. But before you fiddle with the furnace, or spark a fire in your fireplace

You might want to let the professionals set off a few sparks in your basement

 Hector Rivero, from “The Chimney Man”, says that when it comes to getting your chimney inspected, sooner is better than later.

“We’ve been in situations where we have to shut down the furnace, they can’t even use it, in mid-winter!”  said Hector Rivero\ Supervisor, The Chimney Man


You might be able to spot chimney damage yourself.


“if you see white spots on the outside, that’s the condensation from the acid-laden moisture from the gasses” Hector explains.

But as we all know, looks aren’t everything.

“They might think because their chimney looks fine on the outside, they don’t need to clean it. But, in reality, the inside might be blocked.”

And leaving that to chance is a very dangerous game.

 “Any time there’s a fossil fuel involved, there’s carbon monoxide that goes along with that”

Chief Delaney, of the Wilkes-Barre fire department, says that, in that case, the danger doesn’t just stem from the chimney…

“The furnace or the boilers, we will get dozens and dozens of calls every winter because they’re not properly maintained,” said Chief Delaney

For that reason, aside from a clean and working chimney, furnace, or boiler, Chief Delaney says your two best friends for the winter are, “A working smoke alarm, and a carbon monoxide alarm.”

“These two devices give you a fighting chance to get out of the house” Chief Delaney added.

He also says knowing the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can prevent a deadly situation.

“I really want your listeners to look, and say ‘here are the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning”


  • Those signs and symptoms include:

  • A dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion 
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • and Cherry- Red Skin

“Altered mental status and confusion is almost a dead giveaway if you have all of the other symptoms,” noted Chief Delaney.
But hopefully, by preparing your household the right way,
these are symptoms you won’t have to worry about as you cozy up for the winter.

Stay tuned, your Eyewitness Weather Team will have more winter tips and tricks, as well as your winter outlook over the coming days.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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