Chief’s Corner: Staying safe in winter |

Chief’s Corner: Staying safe in winter

Allen Riley
Chief’s Corner

Winter time is a great opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends; here are a few reminders to help keep you and your family safe this season.

Travel safety: Whether you’re traveling across town or across the country, remember to buckle up and don’t drink and drive. Remember, it’s not a good idea to post your travel plans on social media, have a neighbor keep an eye on your house and collect your mail and packages.

Make sure your vehicle is road worthy, good tires, windshield washer fluid, keep gas tank close to full, clear all the snow off your car before driving, carry proper chains, jumper cables, flashlight.

Buckle up, including children in properly fitted safety seat, carry a shovel, warm clothing, water and snacks.

Avoid cruise control on slippery roads, do not text or engage in distracting activities, obey traffic laws and remember drugs and alcohol impair perception, judgement and motor skills. Have a designated driver.

Home safety: Most residential fires occur during the winter months. See what can go wrong on SVFD’s Facebook page: under recent posts.

Have your heater serviced, chimney inspected and cleaned.

Make sure your gas contract is up to date or propane tank full.

Place new batteries in your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.

Kitchen and cooking safety: It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires. Here’s what you should know.

If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.

If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking, keep flammable items away from the stove, keep small children out of the kitchen.

Take extra precautions when cooking with oil. Do not use water to extinguish a grease fire; instead use a proper extinguisher or douse the fire with baking soda!

Allen Riley is fire chief for the Squaw Valley Fire Department.

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