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NH Fire Marshal: 'Don’t be A Statistic'

Preparedness tips for residents in light of Nemo, and a reminder to '... 'be mindful of the hazards associated with powerful winter storms.'

New Hampshire State Police, Friday, distributed the following advisory message:

NH State Fire Marshal, J. William Degnan, reminds all citizens to be aware of the hazards of winter storms.  This particular winter storm is slated to hit the state hard with lots of snow and heavy winds.

There are things that you need to be aware of as the storm approaches. “It is important for all of our citizens to be mindful of the hazards associated with powerful winter storms,” Degnan said.

Here are some helpful tips to make sure that you are prepared:

• Downed trees and wires. With the expected wind gusts anticipated with this winter storm, there is the potential for downed trees and wires.  Do not attempt to move or touch any downed wire.  Wait for your utility company to take care of the wire.

• Carbon Monoxide is Deadly.  With expected power outages to be a reality, many citizens will be using their portable generators for electricity.  Portable generators produce deadly carbon monoxide which is colorless and odorless.  Place generators at least ten feet away from your structure away from building openings and with the exhaust pointed away from the house.  All stationary generators are required to be installed at least five feet from combustible walls. Check your carbon monoxide detector to make sure the batteries are fresh.  Do not connect your generator to your house electrical system by “back-wiring.” This creates a deadly electrocution hazard for utility workers and neighbors.

• Building Collapse Hazard.  For most of the state, we do not anticipate any hazards associated with heavy wet snow which can create a collapse hazard.  This storm, for the most part, is expected to contain light and fluffy snow.  In communities closer to the seacoast the water content of the snow might be slightly  higher.  Keep roofs clear from the ground using snow rakes.  The use of ladders to clear snow is dangerous and should be left to the professionals.

• Keep exits clear from drifting snow.  With the expected winds associated with Nemo, it is important to check for drifting snow up against exit doors.  Make sure that you always have the ability to open all your exits from your building.

• Drifting snow covering heating vents.  Many newer style furnaces and heating units are direct vent units where the termination of the exhaust vent is not required to go into a chimney but rather terminates directly outside the exterior wall of the home.  As such, these vents are subject to being covered by drifting snow, causing a back up of carbon monoxide.  Please make sure that vents are kept clear of drifting snow so that they can work properly. Check on your neighbor.

Stay safe throughout the storm.  Don’t be a statistic. If you have an emergency, call 911.

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