Milbank Fire Chief Kevin Schuelke urges everyone to regularly check for any sign of frozen pipes during this cold winter weather. “We urge the public to check for ice buildup and plugged sewer vents and any signs that may indicate that sewer gases are not vented properly,” he said. Sewer gas contains hydrogen sulfide, methane, and carbon monoxide and is noticeable by a rotten egg smell. Schuelke says, “Some things to watch for are drains not draining quickly or toilets not flushing properly because of a vacuum from a plugged vent.”
According to the fire chief, in cold weather, you can see non-pressure steam coming from a vent that is working properly and not plugged. It also can be checked by shining a flashlight in the steam path.
Schuelke also sends a reminder about smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. “The life expectancy is 10 years on many manufacturers of these alarms, so please check those too,” he said. “We have many alarms that go off for no reason when they are old and not working properly. So make sure to check those and replace batteries on a regular basis.”