ICE and SNOW Safety at Home


Image: Pixabay

Neighborhood Safe Neighborhood, #17

by Staff Neighborhood Safety Reporter

Winter solstice 2021 began this week on Tuesday, Dec 21st; the shortest day of year and the official first day of winter. Last week, we discussed safety on the road with ice and snow:

Snow and Ice Safety on the Road

This week we’ll focus on preparing your home and family from freezing weather, as well as preparing for power outages from winter storms.

BEFORE THE MERCURY DROPS; schedule home maintenance

__ Clear debris from gutters and storm drains; the weight of frozen water and debris can damage gutters.

__ Repair roof leaks

__ Remove hazardous tree limbs

__ Make sure heating equipment, furnaces and chimney are properly maintained

__ Install battery-operated carbon monoxide and smoke detectors; check batteries regularly

__ Install surge protectors and/or battery systems for computers

__ Seal air drafts around doors, fixtures, close off crawl spaces, and insulate walls and attics.

Make an emergency supply kit

__ Consider getting a portable backup battery power source

5 Things to Know About Portable Power Stations

__ Charging cords for mobile devices

__ First aid kit, including extra medications.

__ Battery operated radio

__ Flashlight(s) with batteries

__ Water and non-perishable food

__ Manual can opener

__ Sanitation supplies and medicine(s)


__ Local news radio, TV, and websites, as well as the National Weather Service

National Weather Service

__ Emergency weather radio

__ Download apps to receive alerts

__ Search for shelter information


Water utilities are responsible for water mains and pipe lines that connect to your home, but not pipes located on your property. Report broken or missing meter lids to water utilities to prevent frozen meters.

To protect your pipes from potential damage and avoid costly repairs:

__ Garden hoses; disconnect, drain and store until Spring.

__ Wrap outdoor pipes and faucets with insulation materials or use inexpensive dome kits to prevent pipes freezing water from bursting pipes.

__ Drain in-ground lawn irrigation systems, following the manufacturer instructions.

__ If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

If a water pipe breaks, immediately turn off the main water shut-off valve and/or water meter to control flooding and water damage. Call a plumber. The main water shut-off valve is usually located in the basement, garage or outside near the foundation. If there is no main shut-off valve, there is a valve in the meter box that can be used in an emergency. Turn clockwise with an adjustable wrench.

Frozen Pipes Learn how to prevent water pipes from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze

Sidewalks and Driveways: Protect yourself and others

While city crews plow and sanding streets, property owners are responsible for clearing sidewalks adjacent to their home or business. Avoid overexertion. Heart attacks from shoveling heavy snow are a leading cause of death during the winter

__ Shoveling can be a little easier if you spray a coat of cooking spray on your shovel. It will help the snow clump together and prevent it from sticking to your shovel.

__ Melt snow on your driveway with rock salt.

__ To keep sidewalks non-slippery, use sand or non-clumping cat litter

Snow Removal Safety Tips


POWER OUTAGE: How to safely survive without electricity or gas

If you see a downed power lines-stay, 30’ away from anything in contact with them.

Report a power outage; call Puget Sound Energy (PSE) at 1-888-225-5773; you can also report it online and check PSE's outage map

Puget Sound Energy

__ Wear layers of clothing inside the house

__ Have extra batteries nearby for flashlights and lanterns

__ Avoid lighting candles; they can lead to house fires. If you do use candles, never leave lit candles unattended.

__ Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.

__ Turn off lights and appliances, including your furnace, and unplug sensitive electronic devices, like computers to avoid a circuit overload when power is restored. Leave one light switch on so you’ll know when service returns.

__ Do not use any of the following indoors: generators, gasoline and propane heaters, outdoor heating equipment, or cooking equipment such as grills and camp stoves. Keep generators outside at least 20 feet from any door, window or vent. Don’t risk carbon monoxide poisoning!

____ If your garage has an electric door opener, locate the manual release lever and know how to operate it.

... And check in with your neighbors. Help those who may require extra assistance: infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

REFERENCES and More Tips:


Snow and Ice

Sign up for quarterly newsletter from Office of Emergency Management

Time to prepare your home and car for winter

Take winter by storm: winter weather preparedness tips & resources

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is not local
This is unverified