The Pennsylvania House on Oct. 6 approved a resolution recognizing October as Pennsylvania Fire Prevention Month, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129).
According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home structure fires in 2011, resulting in 2,520 civilian deaths and nearly $7 billion in damages.
Here are some familiar tips:
• Have working smoke detectors on every level of the home that are tested monthly and kept free of dust. Batteries should be changed at least once a year.
• Never overload circuits or extension cords. Do not place cords and wires under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas. Immediately shut off and unplug appliances that sputter, spark or emit an unusual smell. Have them professionally repaired or replaced.
• Practice an escape plan from every room in the house. Caution everyone to stay low to the floor when escaping from fire and never to open doors that are hot. Select a location where everyone can meet after escaping the house. Get out first, and then call for help.
As bitterly cold winter weather again strikes the region, it is important to keep in mind several tips to stay safe this season, reports state Rep. Jim Cox (R-129).
It is a good idea to pack an emergency kit for a vehicle in case a driver becomes stranded. Transportation officials suggest a basic kit include non-perishable food, water, blanket, a small snow shovel and warm clothes. It is also recommended drivers include a flashlight with batteries and a candle with matches.
To help prevent breakdowns and crashes, be sure vehicles are in good shape by checking all fluid levels, lights, wiper blades and tire condition, and removing as much snow and ice as possible.
In addition, be sure to follow these guidelines when encountering a plow truck:
• Stay at least six car lengths behind an operating plow truck and remember that the main plow is wider than the truck.
• Be alert since plow trucks generally travel much more slowly than other traffic.
• When a plow truck is coming toward a motorist, move as far away from the center of the road as is safely possible, and remember that snow can obscure the actual snow plow width.
• Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a “plow train.” The weight of the snow thrown from the plow can quickly cause smaller vehicles to lose control and create a hazard for nearby vehicles.
• Never travel next to a plow truck since there are blind spots where the operator can’t see and they can occasionally be moved sideways when hitting drifts or heavy snowpack.
• Keep lights on to help the operator better see a vehicle. Also remember that under Pennsylvania law, vehicle lights must be on every time a vehicle’s wipers are on due to inclement weather.