Cedar City Deputy Fire Marshal Offers Tips For Fall Driving And Heating
I had the occasion yesterday to make the drive from Cedar City to St. George, a very normal process for most of us that live in the area. During the drive I was hit by two, what I will call, cloudbursts. Rain just dumped on me both going down to St. George and on the way back.
I have to tell you, it rained so hard that be able to see the road was a bit of a challenge for the few moments the rain reigned. But, I was ok, thanks in part to a guest who was with us on the radio earlier in the day.
Greg Orloski is the Deputy Fire Marshal for the Cedar City Fire Department, and shared with us some important safety tips on the Wired Wednesday program, including tips for driving in the rain.
The Rain Must Fall
First thing, don't be surprised. Make sure your vehicle has good wiper blades. With the change of seasons coming (and that rain will be turning to snow at some point) this would be a good time to make sure your tires have good tread depth. And this might be a good time to see that your brakes are good.
Of course, slowing down on wet roads is a good idea. Sadly, a fellow driver on the highway just a few miles ahead of me yesterday didn't take that advice and went off the road. It's easier than you think to get in to a situation where you are hydroplaning. Make sure there is plenty of distance between you and other vehicles.
Greg had some other safety tips he shred with us. He talked about safety in a lightning storm. The golden rule of lightning safety, Orloski told us, is “when thunder roars go indoors.” I have to tell you, I'm a bit of a rebel in this. I love to go out on the front porch and watch these magnificent storms as they roll through. I'm taking my chances.
During lightning, get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks. You should not lie flat on the ground. Make sure you're not standing near tall objects, like trees, as this is a common way of being struck.
And if you do get inside, keep in mind that lightning can and does pass through water, pipes and electrical wiring.
Take It Easy, Sparky
And finally, as temperatures as slowly starting to trend down, many of us will be looking to warm our homes by use of a wood burning stove or fireplace. There's not much more comforting to me on a cold night then the warmth of a fire in the fireplace.
Before you fire your wood source up for the fall and winter, Orloski strongly recommends to have it inspected and cleaned to be ready for the season. Once you start using it, don't dump your ashes in your household trash. Let them cool first, and then put them outside in a metal container. Make sure you have a spark arrestor cap in place on your chimney, and of course be sure to have a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector in place.
A few quick things can make it so we can travel safe and stay warm in the upcoming cooler seasons. You can hear our entire visit with Greg Orloski below.