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Staying safe after the storm

Posted at 6:34 PM, Feb 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 10:17:26-05

Shoveling your driveway and sidewalk are an important part of keeping your family and neighbors safe after a snowstorm. However, there's a lot more you can do.

Blocked or buried fire hydrants can cause problems for fire departments. Something as simple as shoveling out a hydrant near your house can go a long way for firefighters.

"When we go to calls on the scene, we're not taking more time to get to the house and get water on it," said Jason Andrews with the Suamico Fire Department.

In Suamico, the fire department has a "hydrant helper" program where kids shovel out a fire hydrant near their home during the winter months. They can win ice cream and a chance to ride in the fire truck, but it helps in more ways than that.

"The kids have a little bit more awareness of not only the fire program, but fire safety and what they can do to help their community," Andrews explained.

Besides shoveling out hydrants, the fire department says you should also clear snow and ice from any vents outside your home. This prevents carbon monoxide from entering the house.

"You do check the furnace vent outside," said Ashwaubenon resident Sharon Scanlan.

"We really don't have any trouble, but I check it periodically. It gets ice on it sometimes."

Blocked vents can not only cause carbon monoxide poisoning, but fires inside homes. Make sure to check that your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working properly, according to the Suamico Fire Department. By doing all of those things now, you can prevent problems in your home later.