Public Safety

Clearing the snow from the hydrants on your street can save valuable time in an emergency.

VISIBILITY Who doesn’t love the crisp, unbroken white of a freshly fallen snow? Please alter the landscape a little, though, to make sure fire hydrants are easy to find in a hurry. Remove any snow and ice, and clear about a 3-foot space around the hydrant for firefighters to work. Also keep a clear path to the hydrant from the street.

And while we’re on the subject of visibility, what do your house numbers look like? It’s a good idea to mark the numbers in a way that won’t slow any first responders who are trying to get to your place in an emergency.

CARBON MONOXIDE is nothing to fool around with. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, firefighters respond to about 80,000 carbon monoxide related calls a year. Some tips to keep the air breathable in your house:

Install CO alarms in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the house. Call 911 if the alarm sounds, and immediately move to a place where there is fresh air and remain there until help arrives.

If you need to warm a vehicle, pull it out of the garage immediately after starting it. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.

During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow buildup.

Gas or charcoal grills can produce carbon monoxide, so only use them outside.


LOOK UP LEBO Always give drivers plenty of notice before you cross the street. Although drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, they do not have to yield to someone who is contemplating a street crossing sometime in the near future. If you’re a pedestrian, make your intentions known. Step into the crosswalk but leave enough room for the car to see you. Then wait for the car to stop before proceeding full-on into the crosswalk. If you’re behind the wheel, always be prepared to stop at a crosswalk, especially the several mid-block crosswalks we have in Mt. Lebanon. And drive slowly as you approach the crosswalks so you have time to see if a pedestrian is approaching.