AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Cleanup continues after western Massachusetts was hit with anywhere from 18 inches to more than two feet of snow.
By now, most people have cleared their driveways and sidewalks, shoveling or pushing snow into their yard or up against their house.
However, there are several spots many people might not think about and it's important they are snow-free.
"Between the snowfall itself, drifting from the wind, it’s sliding off the roof, or you’re snow blowing or plowing, it’s easy to build it up against the side of a house," said Amherst Assistant Fire Chief Lindsay Stromgren.
People across western Massachusetts have found themselves digging out for days, shoveling mounds of snow and trying to clear a clean path to travel safely, but as you pile up the heavy, wet snow around your property, there are several areas you don't want to put it.
"Vents on the outside of your house for gas, furnaces, hot water heaters," Stromgren explained.
Stromgren said blocked vents are extremely dangerous and can lead to deadly situations.
"Typically, with new high-energy efficient gas water heaters and gas furnaces, they have both the plastic pipe to bring fresh air in and then another plastic pipe where the exhaust gas goes out, so instead of going up a traditional chimney, they go out a plastic pipe. They’re cool enough they can use a plastic pipe, but there’s a lot of carbon monoxide, so they have to be kept open," Stromgren noted.
Westfield Gas and Electric shared this photo on Facebook, also reminding homeowners to maintain a clear path to their meters, allow vents to exhaust properly, and be aware of overhead snow and ice.
"Just the idea that the amount of snow or ice could fall on someone as well, so you want to clean off the top of your roof if you can do that. I was watching my neighbor, who had a metal roof, and stuff was just falling down on top of the front doorway. I was like wow, that’s dangerous. Also, the town has to have access to the water meter and you have to have your oil filled, so there are quite a few things you have to think about when you’re shoveling," said Leticia Davies.
Another area of the home you need to be careful cleaning is your roof. The Amherst Fire Department said never go up on a ladder or the roof during the winter months. Rather, stay on the ground and use an extended snow rake or hire a professional.