Heating safety at deer camp

OK. You’re ready for the deer season.

The rifle is sighted, the gear is prepared, the camp is stocked and everyone knows the safety procedures.

What about safety at camp? Are you ready for that, too?

Wisconsin Public Service and Upper Peninsula Power Co. officials remind deer hunters that heating systems in those cabins, campers, tents or shanties should be carefully inspected to ensure proper working condition and proper venting.

A build-up of carbon monoxide can result if heating equipment is not operating efficiently and not vented properly.

Portable electrical generators that use a gasoline engine should never run inside hunting shacks or garages, even if doors and windows are open, Upper Peninsula Power Co. official said. Most manufacturers suggest using portable generators at least 20 feet from where you reside. Follow manufacturer’s suggested operations for safe use.

Carbon monoxide buildup is the most common cause of fatal poisoning in the Wisconsin, Wisconsin Public Service officials added. Victims overcome by carbon monoxide poisoning, can die in their sleep. Wisconsin Public Service officials recommend having a carbon monoxide and smoke detector in each shelter, particularly where hunters sleep.

Check chimneys and vents that can get plugged by animal or bird nests, leaves or snow and ice, Upper Peninsula Power Co. officials said. Small propane heaters and stoves, kerosene, wood burning and charcoal grills also produce carbon monoxide when not vented properly.

Carbon monoxide 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 carbon monoxide build up in a confined area, they can cause death for occupants.

Initial signs of carbon monoxide 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, call 9-1-1 and request immediate assistance.

If portable heaters are used to keep hunters warm, make sure to abide by the manufacturer’s recommendations for safe operation.

Prior to operation, Upper Peninsula Power Co. officials advise that heating systems in those cabins, campers, tents or camps be carefully inspected to ensure proper working condition and proper venting.

Additionally, recycle and replace old batteries with new batteries in both carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and be sure to test them to make sure they produce an audible warning sound.

Also, hunters should not shoot near power lines or electrical equipment or substations. A stray shot can cause damage and potentially interrupt electrical service to an entire area.

If hunters come across a potentially dangerous-looking situation, contact Upper Peninsula Power Co.’s 24-hour Emergency Service at 800-562-7809 to report your location and situation. In Wisconsin, they should contact Wisconsin Public Service 24-hour Emergency Service at 800-450-7240

Have a safe and enjoyable hunting experience during the annual deer hunt.