Don't succumb to CO poisoning in your ice shack

Posted at 9:32 PM, Feb 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 08:43:37-05

OSHKOSH, WI -- As you get ready to head out on Lake Winnebago for sturgeon spearing this weekend, we have a warning on how your ice shack could become a death trap. 

Staying safe while out on the ice is more than knowing the current ice conditions, or dressing for an extended stay in freezing temperatures.
In fact, it's how we stay warm that has emergency responders concerned.
First and foremost, firefighters say no open flame inside an ice house.
But many people use propane heating in their ice shacks, which can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if not monitored.
Experts say you need to keep your ice house well ventilated.
"There have been cases around the country, in these types of situations, where people have succumbed to CO poisoning," says Neenah Menasha Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Mike Sipin, "so it's extremely important to make sure that, one: whatever heating device you're using is working properly, and two... to make sure that the shack is ventilated well."
Experts also say try to avoid heading out on the ice alone, but if you do, have a cell phone for emergencies.
Also, don't be afraid to check on your neighboring ice fishermen, and step outside of your ice shack from time to time to get fresh air, just in case.
According to KARE11, a fisherman on Leech Lake, in Minnesota, died in last month from an apparent buildup of CO in the ice shack.