After the storm: remember to play it safe
Published: Friday, June 1, 2012 at 2:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 1, 2012 at 2:54 p.m.
The rain and wind might have died down, but it doesn't mean the danger is over. As residents start to get out, move about and assess damage, there are some precautions everyone should take.
Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
Generators, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices should never be used inside a home, basement, garage or camper — or even outside near an open window. Have at least one working carbon monoxide detector.
Be aware of the risk of chain-saw injury during tree removal:
Each year, approximately 36,000 people are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries from using chain saws.
-- Operate, adjust and maintain the saw according to manufacturer's instructions provided in the manual accompanying the chain saw.
-- Properly sharpen chain-saw blades, and properly lubricate the blade with bar and chain oil.
-- Choose the proper size of chain saw to match the job, and include safety features such as a chain brake, front and rear hand guards, stop switch, chain catcher and a spark arrester.
-- Wear the appropriate protective equipment, including hard hat, safety glasses, hearing protection, heavy work gloves, cut-resistant legwear (chain-saw chaps) that extend from the waist to the top of the foot, and boots which cover the ankle.
-- Always cut at waist level or below to ensure you maintain secure control over the chain saw.
-- Bystanders or co-workers should remain at least two tree lengths (at least 150 feet) away from anyone felling a tree and at least 30 feet from anyone operating a chain saw to remove limbs or cut a fallen tree.
-- If injury occurs, apply direct pressure over the site of heavy bleeding.
-- Beware of injury from the release of bent trees or branches.
Driving safely in a disaster location:
-- Avoid driving through water, especially when it is fast moving.
-- Do not drive through standing water if fallen electrical wires are in the water.
-- Avoid driving when tired, fatigued or upset.
-- Plan your route in advance.
Protect yourself and others from electric hazards:
-- Never touch a fallen power line. Call the power company to report fallen power lines.
-- Avoid contact with overhead power lines during cleanup and other activities.
-- Do not drive through standing water if downed power lines are in the water.
-- If a power line falls across your car while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not turn off the ignition. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Call or ask someone to call the local utility company and emergency services. Do not allow anyone other than emergency personnel to approach your vehicle.
-- If electrical circuits and electrical equipment have gotten wet or are in or near water, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not enter standing water to access the main power switch. Call an electrician to turn it off.
-- Never turn power on or off yourself or use an electric tool or appliance while standing in water. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician. All electrical equipment and appliances must be completely dry before returning them to service. Have a certified electrician check these items if there is any question.
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