Feet upon feet of snow have been dumped upon New England, but certain parts of California are also no strangers to the dangers of snow accumulation. When snow builds up, it can create a whole host of safety threats that can wreak havoc along the roads and around homes. To make sure you’re safe if you ever find yourself in the middle of such circumstances, consider a few safety tips from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the Greenfield Fire Department.
One of the first things you should do is make sure that no one, including emergency responders, would be placed in danger should they approach your home. You should take pains to shovel the snow from all paths in front of the house. Your stairs and porch should also be free of debris so as to encourage safe travel. You should even clear away snow on both sides of any nearby fire hydrants in case a fire breaks out. The sidewalk side alone won’t cut it, as firefighters will typically need access to the street side.
While you’re clearing the snow away, you should take the proper precautions at every turn. If you find yourself becoming winded, take a short break to collect yourself. Heart attacks brought about by shoveling snow are rather common in the winter, and you don’t want the weather to provide the impetus for your demise. If you’re going to be using a snowblower to save your energy, understand what to do if snow jams up the mechanism. Before you clear the blades, be sure that you unplug the entire device.
You should also make sure to get rid of snow that accumulates on your roof, especially if you reside in an older structure that would be in danger of collapsing under the weight of an abundance of snow. Instead of climbing up onto the slick, heightened surface, though, you might invest in a roof rake so that you can safely sift the snow off the roof and onto the ground.
If you have kids, make sure they understand the proper precautions to take if they go outside to play. With traffic compromised by slick roads and maintenance crews coming through on a regular basis, children must understand that snowy roads are no place to horse around.
If you can avoid doing so, don’t drive, but if you have to go out for any reason, drive slowly and look out for children in the area. When you park, follow any directives put out by the local authorities, and stay away from parking on corners so that plows can move through safely.
Finally, bundle up when you head out into cold weather. A hat, mittens, and numerous layers of clothing are a must if you’re going to be outside even for a short period of time.