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

By: Mark Anderson, Safety Manager at Dead River Company

Now that we’ve all had enough practice preparing for a winter storm(s), I thought we could use some safety tips for once the storm is over. As the Dead River Company Safety Manager, I like to offer ways to keep your home, your heating system—and your heart—safe.

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.

If you use a snow blower:

  • Wear crampons on your boots 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.

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.
  • Use as light a shovel as possible. (You may like an adjustable, ergonomically designed shovel, which is available at some hardware stores.)

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!