The Crookston Fire Department wants to remind all building owners and property managers to keep exit doors and fire escapes clear of ice and snow accumulations this winter.
As the inevitable winter weather is clearly upon us, we are reminding building owners to be aware of the conditions and the problems snow and ice can cause, this requires greater vigilance to insure that these critical secondary paths are available for escape or rescue in an emergency.
Schools, apartments, restaurants, nightclubs and other buildings often have secondary exits that may become blocked by ice or snow during the winter months. Building owners are responsible to maintain required exits, and to clear ice and snow or other obstructions as quickly as possible.
Safe, useable exits are fundamental to maintaining a reasonable level of fire safety in all buildings. During this time of year, Code Enforcement officers frequently find emergency exit doors frozen shut.
Building owners are requested to provide a high level of scrutiny of their exits during this winter period, and throughout the year.
Removal of snow and ice from pathways, sidewalks and driveways also allows paramedics to move the ambulance cot quickly to and from emergency medical calls.
Carbon monoxide safety
Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
CO safety tips
• CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
• Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
• Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
• If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
• If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive.
• If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
• During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
• A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
• Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use outside.