And Staying Safe in the Process
Last month at a moving company warehouse in New Jersey, employees found themselves scrambling to find the cutoff valve to a gas line that had been struck by a forklift. While it is true not all of us have forklifts – or warehouses – the looming winter gives us good reason to go over a few safety points.
FEMA lays out a comprehensive checklist for keeping ourselves, our spaces and our vehicles safe in the extreme cold of winter (no wise cracks from those of you in the south please). Here are a few salient highlights:
- Along with insulating pipes, FEMA suggests allowing faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Carry sand with you, to improve vehicle traction. Even if you are only loading/unloading consider having some on hand. It also helps you keep your footing on icy steps and front walks.
- Maintain a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing. Fuel additives may help as well.
- Check the oil in your vehicles for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone knows how to use them. Fires pose an increased risk in cold weather as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
- A good amount of FEMA’s advice might be common sense but it never hurts to refresh the memory and double-check to make sure we all (in the north) are ready for Old Man Winter.
You guys down south, you can just keep your jokes to yourselves…