The Shelbyville Fire Dept. would like to help warn citizens of some of the dangers that winter brings with it. First of all is the most common danger of slipping and falling from ice and snow. Falls account for a large majority of emergency room visits each year and are the cause of numerous calls that the fire dept. responds to. Caution should be used any time you are walking on a snow or ice covered surface. Citizens should try to keep their sidewalks and driveways as clean as possible to avoid some of these dangers and apply ice melt or sand as needed for traction while walking on ice.
Another danger is frozen lakes and retention ponds. You should never assume that any ice is safe ice. Never let children play on or near a frozen body of water. Numerous lives are lost each year in the US because of drownings that occur after someone has fallen through the ice. The Shelbyville Fire Dept. is equipped to handle ice related incidents, however, we do not have a dive team. We have an ice rescue sled that enables a firefighter to safely enter onto a frozen body of water and manuever it to a victim and pull the victim to safety as long as the victim has not gone under water.
The last thing I want to warn you about is the danger of using space heaters or any type of temporary supplemental heat source. Most space heaters don’t have an open flame, however, they so have an element that gets hot enough to ignite combustibles such as draperies, clothing, furniture, and flammable liquids. It is very important to check surrounding objects peridically to see if they are hot. Never place an electric heater in a bathroom or near water. Try to purchase one that has a safety guard around it or one that has a safety device to shut it off if it becomes knocked over. Also never leave a space heater unattended while away from home or sleeping.
The Shelbyville Fire Dept. wants everyone to stay safe this winter and not take unnecessary chances that could lead to dramatic endings. Be sure to test your smoke detectors and check your batteries.
Be safe, Lt. Jeff Tennell PIO