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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > The Sun is Out: Dig Out Safely

The Sun is Out: Dig Out Safely


February 10, 2013

8:00 AM


As a sunny day dawns, Mainers will be shoveling and blowing snow in the wake of the weekend blizzard. Some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the vents for heaters, fireplaces, dryers, etc. are clear of snow. If these vents are clogged, Carbon monoxide can back up into your home or business. CO is a invisible odorless gas that kills.
  • If your vehicle was buried in snow, make sure the exhaust pipe is clear before starting the engine. Again, carbon monoxide leaking into the car can kill.
  • Pace yourself while shoveling snow. Over-exertion can bring on heart problems or back injuries.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you experience signs of a heart attack, including uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest that goes away and comes back or lasts for more than a few minutes; pain in the shoulders, necks and arms; and chest discomfort accompanied by nausea, shortness of breath, sweating, lightheadness and fainting.
  • Use your snowblower safely, including yes, reading the manual....more from Safety Works, Maine Department of Labor
  • Protect yourself by dressing for the season, wearing several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing, rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens are better than gloves to keep hands warm. Wear a hat, as most body heat is lost through the top of the head, and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
  • Travel as little as possible to allow clean-up operations to continue smoothly. When you do venture out, be especially careful at intersections, as high snow banks may block your view of traffic
  • Help dig out fire hydrants and storm drains in your neighborhood.
  • Clear snow from house and barn roofs; 12 inches of wet or compacted snow can put as 20 pounds per square foot extra weight on your roof.
  • Protect outside oil tanks from falling snow and ice. ... more from the Department of Environmental Protection

As always, as Mainers we look after our neighbors. When your walks are shoveled, look around for neighbors and friends who may need help to clear steps, driveways and roofs.



Last update: 07/20/10