After the Storm: Safety Tips
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After the Storm: Safety Tips

For most people, the first chore to get out of the way following a snowstorm is snow removal. Once you’ve taken all the pretty photos, it’s time to dig out. Whether you got two inches or two feet of snow, below are a few tips on how to dig out quickly, clean up effectively, and stay safe.

Get a head start on clearing snow When it’s safe to go outside, you may want to clear the snow around your home and vehicles right away. That’s because fresh snow is lighter and easier to shovel or snow-blow than snow that’s had time to settle and get packed down.

If you use a snow blower:

  • Wear sturdy footwear with good traction or ice grippers to prevent accidentally slipping and losing control.
  • NEVER reach into the auger or the chute while the machine is running. Once it’s turned off, use the special poker that comes with the blower if you need to dislodge ice or snow.
  • Protect your ears by wearing ear plugs or other hearing protection.

If you’re shoveling:

  • Before the storm, bring the shovel into the mudroom, garage, or just inside the door so that it’s readily available—especially if you’re expecting a foot or more of snow.
  • Be aware, shoveling snow can be more strenuous than running on a treadmill. If you’re unused to physical activity, go slowly, take breaks, and pace yourself.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Push the snow as much as possible and if you need to lift it, lift with your legs, never with your back, and keep the shovel blade close to you.
  • Switch off between shoveling right-handed and left-handed, so that you’re working different muscles.
  • Use as light a shovel as possible. You could also try an ergonomic shovel that has a slight bend allowing you to stand straight while shoveling and give you better leverage.

Heating system safety:

  • Clear any outside vents. If they become blocked, there’s a high risk of carbon monoxide entering your home.
  • If you heat with propane, always follow propane safety rules, including inspecting tanks and lines for damage from ice and snow.
  • Propane tank safety is important—be sure tank locations are well marked for snow plows, and blowers.
  • Be sure paths are cleared to your tanks and that your driveway is adequately cleared and sanded.
  • Roof rake safety is important, too. Did you know a cubic foot of ice weighs 62 pounds? Before you go knocking down icicles, be sure they won’t land on your propane tank. Or on you!
  • If you suspect a problem, don’t hesitate to call your Dead River Company office for assistance.

There’s plenty of fun to be had after a good snowstorm. Keep these safety tips in mind so you can enjoy all of it!