Tips from King County Fire Chiefs for staying safe in winter weather

Some storm tips from the King County Fire Chiefs Association:

A second snow storm has arrived in King County, and freezing overnight temperatures are forecast to stick around through next week. The King County Fire Chiefs Association wants to remind people of steps to take for staying safe in the winter weather.

Drive safely: Avoid unnecessary driving! Take the bus, light rail or other form of transportation if you can. If you must drive, take your time, leave lots of distance between you and other vehicles, use your turn signals and headlights. Stay on main roads that have been cleared, and let someone know where you are headed. Grab emergency provisions, such as water, snacks and blankets before heading out.

Avoid slips and falls: Take care when walking in the snow. Even when sidewalks and driveways look clear, there could be patches of ice. Wear shoes with good tread, wear high-visibility or reflective items and keep your hands out of your pockets in case you slip and need to break a fall. Avoid walking in the streets – vehicles may also slip and slide.

Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning: CO is an odorless, colorless gas produced by common household appliances powered by gas or oil, such as furnaces, water heaters, ovens and ranges. Keeping appliances properly vented and in good working condition is the best way to prevent build up of CO. Installing working CO alarms and testing them regularly is also important. If using a generator or portable cooking source, make sure it is outside and away from doors and windows.

Call 9-1-1 right away if experiencing these signs of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, tightness in the chest and breathing difficulties.

Prevent a fire: Reduce your risk of a fire by making sure to keep any flammable materials (think fabric, paper, aerosol cans) away from heat sources such as fireplaces and portable and baseboard heaters. Always pay close attention when cooking – kitchen fires are a leading cause of residential fires. Never leave the room when there is an open flame in use.

For more info, visit http://www.kcfca.com.