WINTER STORM TIPS

Winter weather is bringing extremely cold weather including possible ice, snow, and high winds to many areas of our state. To help deal with these conditions, the members of the Hickory Fire Department offer the following advice:

• If your power goes out, use a flashlight instead of candles. More people have died after winter storms from residential fires caused by candles than from the direct effects of the storm itself.

• Use portable space heating equipment very carefully. Heaters should be placed at least three feet away from any combustible material, including drapes, carpeting, and furniture. Do not drape gloves, socks, or other clothing over a space heater to dry.

• Remember to always turn off space heaters before leaving home or going to bed and for safety. Children and pets should be kept away from heating equipment.

• Fuel-filled equipment, such as kerosene heaters, should be filled outdoors and only when they are completely cool.

• Do not use gas grills, generators, or other open flames inside your home. These items create carbon monoxide, which can cause death. Also, make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

• Have essential supplies, including flashlights, a radio, first aid kit, protective clothing and winter wear, canned foods, and at least three gallons of water (preferably more). Also, listen to Weather Radio, The Weather Channel, and local television broadcasts for the latest information about storm conditions.

• Plan to stay at home during bad weather, but if you must drive and become stuck, stay with your car. Do not try to walk to safety.

For additional information on preparing for winter storms and other disasters, contact the Hickory Fire Department at 828-323-7420.

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