Jacksonville Public Safety provides cold weather safety tips

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — With the possibility of hazardous winter weather in the near forecast, Jacksonville Public Safety provided the following information to keep you, your family and your property safe in severe conditions.

Cold weather and precipitation will result in some icy conditions.

“Now is the time to ensure that you and your car are properly equipped,” said Sean Magill, JPD Field Operations Supervisor.

  • Ensure your vehicle has ample antifreeze, wipers are in good shape and windshield washer fluid is full
  • Check headlights to ensure they are clean and in working order
  • Check your tires – How’s the tread?  Are they property inflated
  • Battery – have it tested to avoid being stranded in the cold with a car that won’t start
  • Equip your car with a flashlight, extra batteries, first aid kit, warm clothes and a blanket.  Include a bottle of water and non-perishable snacks.
  • Sunglasses – the glare of sun on snow and ice can be intense
  • Cell phone – ensure it is fully charged in case of emergency

Jacksonville Fire and Emergency Services Assistant Fire Chief Shaun Hayes also offered the following tips for safety in your home during a winter storm event:

  • Working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are a must, particularly when using wood or fuel-fired heating appliances.
  • Using a space heater? Ensure that yours has an automatic shut off.  If it tips over, it will shut off.
  • Fireplace Safety – Always use a metal or heat-tempered glass screen when using your fireplace.
  • Wood Stove Safety – keep doors closed unless adding wood or stoking the fire
  • Cooking is the leading cause of winter fires.  Never leave the stove unattended; don’t wear loose clothing while cooking; keep children away from the stove while cooking.

“A heat source too close to combustibles is the leading factor contributing to the start of a winter home fire.  Keep combustible items at least three feet away,” said Chief Hayes.  “Prepare your home and family for the event of a power outage, with flashlights, battery operated lanterns and radios and fully charged cell phones and non-perishable foods.”

Jacksonville Police Department offers the following tips for cautious driving in winter weather.

  • Venture out only if absolutely necessary – Consider staying home until road conditions improve
  • Allow plenty of extra time to reach your destination
  • Take main roadways – avoid secondary roads
  • Double the normal distance in following the car in front of you
  • Reduce your speed.

“Posted speed limits are designed for normal driving conditions” stated Lt. Magill.  “In icy road conditions, reducing your speed is the single most important safety step you can take.”

  • Remember that bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.  Plan for alternate routes
  • Some roadways may have “black ice” – a thin coating of glazed ice that is virtually impossible to see

 For real-time travel information at any time, visit the NCDOT website (www.ncdot.gov) or dial 511.   Monitor official news outlets for closings and additional information regarding weather conditions.  Please do not call 911 for road condition information, as that line is for emergencies only.

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