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snoW rEmoval safEty tiPs

S now removal is a necessity in this part of the country. It is also a physical activity that should be

done carefully.

Every year hundreds of people injure their backs, or worse, when shoveling snow. Here are some tips that can help alleviate potential physical harm so that you might be able to enjoy the winter wonderland around you. And remember, spring is right around the corner!

n Stretch before you go out to start the job. Before go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises or go for a short walk to warm up your legs, arms and back. This will help prevent injury.

n While shoveling, try tightening your abdominal muscles as you lift the snow. It is best to throw the snow in front of you; avoid tossing it to the side or over your shoulder. If that’s the only place for it, then turn your feet so that your body is facing the direction the snow will be going.

n Avoid consuming stimulants, like caffeine and nicotine before going out. Drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes before you shovel can place more stress on your heart by increasing your heart rate and causing blood vessels to narrow.

n Dressing in layers prevents hypothermia. To avoid overheating, remove the layers as you work up a sweat.

n Keep dry. Change wet clothes frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.

n Cover your mouth. Protect your lungs from extremely cold air by covering your mouth when outdoors.

n Pace yourself to avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unfamiliar exercise, such as shoveling snow or pushing a car, can bring on unforeseen medical issues. Always listen to your body and take frequent breaks to rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

n Use the proper tools. When buying a shovel, look for one that has a smaller blade that will pick up less snow and therefore place less strain on your body.

n Stay safe. Walk carefully on snowy or icy sidewalks. If using a snow blower, never use your hands to unclog the machine.

n Ask for help. Find another able-bodied person to help. Two people can always do the job faster than one.

HoW to HEat your HomE safEly

I mproper use of portable heating equipment can lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Take the proper precautions to ensure you are heating your home safely.

n Use only portable heating equipment that is approved for indoor use.

operating or still hot. Always refuel the heater outside the house.

n Always keep an eye on heating equipment. Never leave children alone in the room where a space heater is running. Turn it off when you are unable to closely monitor it.

n Make sure wood stoves are properly installed, away from combustible surfaces, have proper floor support and adequate ventilation.

n Keep combustible materials, including furniture, drapes, and carpeting at least three feet away from the heat source. Never drape clothes over a space heater to dry.

n Only use space heater fuel recommended by the manufacturer. Never fill a space heater while it is

n Be careful not to overload electrical circuits.

n Make sure you have a working smoke detector in every room. Check and change batteries often.

n Install smoke alarms on each level of your home. Test the batteries monthly and change them once a year.

n Use a glass screen in front of the fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting nearby carpets or furniture.


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