Shelton fire officials: Keep doorways, house dryer vents clear of snow; avoid candles

With the coming blizzard, Shelton Fire Department officials are reminding people to regularly remove snow from near doorways and pathways, and to make sure utility (dryer, kitchen exhaust, heating unit) exhaust vents in their homes are kept clear.

The department's Fire Prevention Bureau is distributing information on how the public can maximize prevention efforts for the storm, which could drop as much as 20 to 30 inches in Shelton on late Monday and Tuesday.

Because storms such as this can result in loss of electrical power, everyone needs to be vigilant to avoid having a fire within a home, business or facility, said Ted Pisciotta, Shelton assistant fire chief for fire prevention.

This includes not using candles, keeping space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn, paying strict attention when cooking, and smoking outdoors only.

Doorways, exhaust vents

Shelton fire officials also offer the following recommended actions:

— Remove snow regularly from all entry/exit doors and pathways of your home, business or facility. This also includes those not regularly used as they may be needed for emergency evacuation or escape in the event of fire. If you are not capable of snow removal, consider making arrangements for someone able to remove snow. Also consider helping a neighbor or someone you know that does not have this ability.

— Keep snow accumulations and drifts clear of exhaust outlets of clothes dryers, stoves and heating units that might be located on exterior walls.

— If a fire hydrant is near your home or business, if possible help to keep it clear of snow and unobstructed for prompt access by firefighters.

— Avoid unnecessary travel on roadways during significant snowfall to help allow both efficient snow removal and safe response of emergency vehicles.

Smoke alarms, 9-1-1 knowledge

Throughout the year always have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, test them monthly, and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times.

Be sure everyone in your household knows when and how to call for help by dialing 9-1-1, and remember to practice a home escape plan.