BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Utilities are reminding New York residents dealing with cold and snow to keep their exhaust vents clear of snow and ice.

Representatives of NYSEG and RG&E said Thursday that snow and ice can block exhaust vents for furnaces and water heaters, potentially causing toxic fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide to build up indoors.

The utilities also recommend keeping outdoor natural gas meters and regulators clear so utility workers and first-responders can access them during an emergency.