Ishpeming, MI – The Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO) has issued reminders as the heating season gets into full swing…and hunters head into the woods and to camps.
Electrical Safety – UPPCO advises hunters not to shoot near power lines, electrical equipment or substations. A stray shot can cause damage and potentially interrupt electrical service to an entire area.
Portable electrical generators that use a gasoline engine should never run inside hunting shacks or garages, even if doors and windows are open. Most manufacturers suggest using portable generators at least 20 feet from where you reside. Follow manufacturer’s suggested operations for safe use.
Some natural pruning may have occurred in heavily forested areas, meaning potentially dangerous situations involving broken tree limbs and downed power lines may have resulted. If hunters come across a potentially dangerous-looking situation, contact UPPCO’s 24-hour Emergency Service at 800-562-7809 to report your location and situation.
Heating Safety – If portable heaters are used to keep hunters warm, make sure to abide by the manufacturer’s recommendations for safe operation. Those directions for safe operations are included with each unit purchased.
Prior to operation, UPPCO advises that heating systems in those cabins, campers, tents or camps be carefully inspected to ensure proper working condition and proper venting. A build-up of carbon monoxide (CO) can result if heating equipment is not operating efficiently and not vented properly.
Check chimneys and vents that can get plugged by animal or bird nests, leaves or snow and ice. Small propane heaters and stoves, kerosene, wood burning and charcoal grills also produce CO when not vented properly.
CO is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas and can be produced by improper burning and venting of fossil fuels such as natural gas, wood, propane, gasoline or kerosene. If levels of CO build up in a confined area, they can cause death for occupants.
UPPCO recommends having a CO and smoke detector in each shelter, particularly where occupants sleep. Recycle and replace old batteries with new batteries in both CO and smoke detectors and be sure to test them to make sure they produce an audible warning sound.
Initial signs of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, confusion and general flu-like symptoms. Fresh air is immediately required so windows and doors should be opened and occupants should go outside. If there are serious health concerns, dial 9-1-1 and request immediate assistance.
Carbon monoxide buildup is the most common cause of fatal poisoning in the state. Victims overtaken by CO poisoning, can die in their sleep.