Posted on: December 27, 2016

Tips to Ensure a Safe Household Following Recent Snow

There are several things to consider after 40 plus inches of snow falls in a month’s time. Shoveling, deicing, and regular maintenance are always on the top of many lists. However, the Minot Fire Department is urging homeowners to take a few more steps to ensure personal and public safety.

“Only a handful of actions can make a major of difference to a home,” states City of Minot Fire Chief, Kelli Flermoen. “Most of which take only a few seconds to complete and can ultimately keep your home safe.”

Those actions are as follows:

  • Removing the snow from the gas meter to your house so that it is accessible in case of an emergency. The extra weight of the snow and ice that collects on the gas meter may break the meter releasing natural gas.
  • Removal of snow from around your high-efficiency furnace exhaust and intakes that vent through the siding.
  • Ensure that you have a working carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Make sure roof sewer vents are clear of snow and ice.
  • Remove snow from around fire hydrants.

The Fire Department has already responded to numerous incidents involving the gas meter being sheared off or disconnected due to the weight of snow and ice. Taking a moment to clear excess snow from this area may avoid such situations.

Meanwhile, removing the snow from around high-efficiency furnace vents will help prevent Carbon monoxide from being drawn into your house. In the event of a plugged furnace vent, it’s important to ensure that carbon monoxide detectors are working and not expired. Most detectors have an end of service life listed on the back of the detector.

When checking roof sewer vents it is recommended to be done safely from the ground. If a vent looks frozen or covered in snow, the best decision would be to contact a professional.

Finally, clearing a three-foot by three-foot area around a fire hydrant would allow a timely response for firefighters in the event of an actual fire.

“We know this isn’t at the forefront of many people’s minds,” says Chief Flermoen. “But, we think it should be.”

Homeowners can learn more about these tips and other safety tips at the National Fire Protection Association link on the Minot Fire Department’s web page on the City of Minot’s website, minotnd.org.

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