Snow creates challenges for Eastside Fire & Rescue emergency crews

January 17, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 7 p.m. Jan. 17, 2012

Snow creates challenges for crews responding to emergencies, so Eastside Fire & Rescue is asking residents in Issaquah and elsewhere to adopt proper fire safety practices as a snowstorm prepares to dump on Western Washington.

The agency receives common fire calls related kitchen fires, chimney fires and unattended candles each winter. The season also marks a spike in the number of responses to possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

However, due to icy or snowy road conditions, EFR personnel could take longer to reach trouble spots, particularly calls in higher-elevation or rural areas.

Such conditions also bring more motor vehicle car crashes, downed power lines, fallen trees on roadways, house fires, power surges and outages. Officials said the best practice under such conditions is to stay off the roads and at home if possible.

The agency offered safety preparedness tips before the flakes started to fall Tuesday:

  • Keep a battery-powered radio and flashlights — and extra batteries — on hand.
  • Have coats, hats, gloves and blankets on hand to stay warm during power outages.
  • Keep a minimum of three days food, water, medications or other necessary medical needs on hand.
  • Cold weather conditions can be harmful, so bring pets indoors or into a protected area when possible. Make sure to have pet food and water on hand.
  • Keep charcoal and gas grills, heaters and generators outside and away from windows and vents to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Wrap pipes and outdoor faucets to prevent ruptured pipes and flooding inside homes.
  • When snow is on the ground, do not drive unless necessary, and stay on main roads.
  • Stay tuned to the radio or television for any updates to the weather conditions or emergency information.
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