Stay Safe This Winter
Winter is a few days away, but here in Northern California we are already experiencing winter weather. Low temperatures, heavy rain, snow, and power outages are all harsh realities that winter brings. In the midst of a winter storm, most people’s main goal is to remain warm. But, often times the ways people stay warm can lead to an unwanted fire.
In preparation for this winter it is important that you make a plan to keep your family safe before and during a winter storm.
Before a Winter Storm
NFPA recommends that before you are even aware of a storm coming you should:
- Test all smoke alarms. Do this at least once a month. This way you will know they are working.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Test them once a month as well.
- Plan two ways out of your home in case of an emergency. Clear driveway and front walk of ice and snow. This will provide easy access to your home.
- Make sure your house number can be seen from the street. This way, if you need help firefighters will be able to find you.
- Have an emergency kit ready in case the power goes out or you get snowed in.
- Keep flashlights and extra batteries on hand.
During a Winter Storm
NFPA recommends that during a winter storm you should:
- Check on neighbors. Check on others who may need your help.
- Be ready if the heat stops working. Use extra layers of clothes and blankets to stay warm. If you use an emergency heat source, keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room. Turn them off when you go to bed.
- Never use candles as your light source.
- Stay away from downed wires and report them to the authorities.
If you are using a generator during the storm, it is important that you use it outdoors and keep it away from windows and doors. NFPA also recommends that you do the following when using your generator:
- Do not run a generator inside your garage, even if the door is open.
- Turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling; don’t refuel when it is running.
- Make sure fuel, including gasoline and other flammable liquids, is stored in properly labeled safety containers. Place them outside all living areas and away from fuel-burning appliances such as a gas hot water heater.
- Always use extreme caution when operating electrical equipment in a damp or wet environment.
- Plug in appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy duty outdoor-rated extension cord. Make sure the cord is free of cuts or tears, that the plus has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin. Do not try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet.
Stay safe this winter!
-The IFS Team