Fire Marshal, State Police Offer Storm Safety Tips

(File photograph.)

State officials are warning residents to stay safe—and be smart—as Thursday’s blizzard blankets the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire.

With power outages to be expected, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey urges people to be proactive.

“One of the simplest steps for safety you can take is to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working. They will give you the earliest possible warning that something is wrong so you can escape safely,” Ostroskey said. Hard-wired alarms rely on battery-backup during power outages, so having replacement batteries on-hand is recommended.

Called an invisible killer because it is tasteless and odorless, carbon monoxide can cause flu-like symptoms, dizziness or nausea.

Generators are a leading cause of carbon monoxide poisoning and should always be placed outdoors facing away from doors, windows and vents, Ostroskey said. When possible, the best placement is five to 10 feet away from a home.

With snow emergencies and parking bans in place across the Merrimack Valley, the State Police also urge preparedness.

A reduction in speed and proper distance are essential to defensive driving, the State Police said.

To keep residents informed on the winter weather advisories, State Police are posting on Facebook and Twitter. Many state and local agencies are using the hashtags #MAsnow and #MAwx to organize weather-related alerts.