Today, the Cleveland Division of Fire conducted a live burn demonstration on a Christmas tree to emphasize the importance of fire safety around the holiday season. In addition, representatives from each Public Safety Division (Police, Fire, EMS, and Animal Control) offered brief remarks on personal and family preparedness for the winter and holiday season. Below are some tips from the Department of Public Safety to make your winter and holiday season safe and enjoyable.
1) Check Emergency Supply Kits. Do you have extra winter clothes, sufficient food and water, extra batteries, flashlights, and a battery or hand-crank radio? What about medications, toys for the kids, pet food, and copies of important information such as numbers for your local utilities? While checking on your own supplies, take some time to check on your neighbors and the elderly. Ensure that all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home are working properly.
2) Take personal precautions and check on the vulnerable. The cold weather may put a strain on your heart; follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or other strenuous work. Many injuries result from falls on ice-covered surfaces, make sure to keep steps and walkways clean and free of ice. Infants and the elderly are most at risk for cold-related illness; keep in touch with elderly or at-risk neighbors or relatives, making sure they are safe and that their homes are adequately heated.
3) Dress appropriately in the cold. Almost all cases of hypothermia and frostbite are preventable. If you must be outside, dress appropriately: wear loose fitting layers to provide overall body warmth, a hat, scarf, mittens and boots will provide additional protection from the elements. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs. Keep dry, change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. If you suspect hypothermia or frostbite, call 911 immediately; if possible, protect the person from further exposure to the cold, remove any wet clothing and warm without rubbing the affected areas.
4) Pay attention to snow parking bans. If snow accumulation exceeds 2 inches or more, a Snow Emergency Parking Ban may be enacted. The ban allows plows sufficient time to remove snow and ice and move through city streets at a good pace. When a snow ban goes into effect, stopping, standing, and parking of vehicles will be restricted and prohibited on City streets with posted red and white signs. Anyone who fails to comply will be ticketed and towed. For more information on parking bans, visit: https://clecityhall.com/tag/parking-ban/
5) Don’t Block the Box. Ensure you can move all the way through an intersection before the traffic signal changes. Stopping in the middle of an intersection prohibits oncoming vehicles from passing through that intersection and can result in grid lock. In addition, be aware of traffic control officers who may be outside on the street directing traffic.
6) Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water. Don’t forget or skip planning and preparing for your animals!
5) Pay attention to local news for weather advisories and visit http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/ and clecityhall.com for up-to-date information from the City of Cleveland. Dial 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.