Scott County Emergency Management shares safety tips after major storm
SCOTT CO., Iowa (KWQC) - The Scott County Emergency Management agency is sharing safety tips about generators, food, and chainsaws after Monday’s severe storm caused damage and power outages.
In a news release, the agency said residents are encouraged to take the following safety precautions to avoid injury and protect their health:
Many Scott County residents may use portable generators to help power refrigerators, lights and sump pumps when the power goes out. There are some important safety precautions to consider when using these devices:
- Generators should be placed at least 20 feet from your home and should never be used indoors, including in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces and other enclosed or partially-enclosed areas, even with ventilation. This is because generators can produce high levels of colorless, odorless carbon monoxide (CO) very quickly.
- Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO build-up in the home. Even if you can’t smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air right away and call 911.
Food safety is another important factor to consider when refrigeration isn’t available due to power outages. Refrigerated and frozen food may not be safe to eat if the power has gone out for extended periods. If the doors stay closed, food will stay safe for up to four hours in a refrigerator, up to 24 hours in a half-full freezer and up to 48 hours in a full freezer.
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Chain Saw Injuries
Another common concern associated with storm cleanup is chain saw injuries. Before using a saw, operators should ensure they are following all manufacturer recommendations for the safe operation, maintenance, and adjustment of the saw.
- Operators should wear appropriate personal protective gear including hard hat, safety glasses, hearing protection, heavy work gloves, cut-resistant legwear (chain saw chaps) that extend from the waist to the top of the foot, and boots which cover the ankle.
- Avoid working around downed power lines; even if you know them to be deenergized, as they could become energized at any time.
- If a serious injury occurs resulting in a loss of blood, apply direct pressure to the wound(s) and call 911 immediately.
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