Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Is Your Car Winter Ready?

With the 2015 Philadelphia Auto Show beginning on Saturday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, it's a good time to make sure your car is ready for the roads this winter. Before driving this winter check that the brakes, battery, hoses and belts are in good condition. Throughout the winter, check your vehicle to make sure that:
  • Fluid levels are full.
  • Wiper blades don't streak. Install winter wiper blades.
  • Heater and defroster are working properly.
  • Radio is working, so you can receive weather updates, road conditions and traffic reports.
  • All lights are working.
  • Tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread. Consider installing snow tires or carry a set of tire chains.
For more tips to stay safe this winter, visit the Winter Preparedness page. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

9 Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

Tail Pipe

Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide – a colorless and odorless gas – can be produced from improperly vented furnaces, plugged or cracked chimneys, water heaters, fireplaces, stoves and tail pipes.

The most common symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning is headache. Symptoms may also include dizziness, chest pain, nausea and vomiting. High levels of carbon monoxide can cause unconsciousness and death.

Stay safe with these tips from the Philadelphia Fire Department and the National Fire Protection Association.

If You Suspect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
  • Leave the building you are in.
  • Get any victims to fresh air immediately.
  • Call 9-1-1.
  • Call your local utility.
Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips:
  • Check that furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, and clothes dryers are properly ventilated.
  • If you have a working fireplace, keep chimneys clean and clear of debris.
  • Never use an oven to heat your home.
  • Do not operate gas or charcoal grills indoors.
  • Never use Kerosene- or oil-burning heaters in an enclosed space.
  • Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
  • During and after a snowstorm, check that the vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow.
  • A generator should always be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. Check and change the batteries every six months when resetting your clocks for Daylight Saving Time.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Winter Fire Safety - Is Your Home Safe?

According the Philadelphia Fire Department, heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires during the months of December, January, & February. Follow these Winter Fire Safety tips from the U.S. Fire Administration and Philadelphia Fire Department:
  • Inspect and maintain heating equipment regularly.
  • Keep a three foot clearance between heating equipment and anything that can burn.
  • Do not use your oven or stove burners to heat your home. It is a fire hazard and can be a source of toxic fumes. 
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and, if possible, near every sleeping area. Test them on a monthly basis. 
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • If there is a fire hydrant near your home, help the fire department by keeping the hydrant clear of snow, so they can locate and use it in the event of a fire.
Space Heaters:
  • Have fixed space heaters installed or inspected by a qualified technician, according to manufacturer’s instructions or applicable codes.
  • Buy portable space heaters with labels listing a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Turn off space heaters every time you leave the room and before going to bed.
  • Choose space heaters that turn off automatically if they tip over.
  • Never use a space heater to dry clothing.
  • Do not use an extension cord with a space heater unless the cord is properly rated and checked regularly.
Oil or Kerosene Heaters:
  • Never use fuel burning appliances without proper ventilation. 
  • Only use the fuel recommended by the heater manufacturer.
  • Never fill the heater while it is operating or hot. When refueling an oil or kerosene unit, avoid overfilling.
  • Refueling should be done outside of the home.
  • Have the chimney inspected annually and cleaned, if necessary.
  • Keep a glass or metal screen in front of a fireplace opening to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out. 
  • Never burn charcoal indoors. It can give off lethal amounts of carbon monoxide.
  • Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace.
  • Never break a synthetic log apart or use more than one log at a time. They often burn unevenly and release higher levels of carbon monoxide.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Holiday Safety: Live Tree Disposal

The Philadelphia Streets Department provides both trash and recycling options for your tree following the holidays. The Residential Christmas Tree Recycling Program will run from Monday, January 5 through Saturday, January 17, 2015.

Citizens who wish to drop off their trees to be recycled during the two-week program may do so 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from Monday through Saturday at the Streets Department Sanitation Convenience Centers, located at: 

  • 3033 S. 63rd Street
  • Domino Lane & Umbria Streets 
  • State Road & Ashburner Street
  • 2601 Glenwood Avenue

Trees brought to these sites should be:

  • Free of all decorations and ornaments. 
  • Free of plastic bags and wrappings.
  • Untied.

New this year, there are 23 drop-off sites located throughout the City on Saturday, January 10 and Saturday, January 17 for citizens to drop their trees off for recycling between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Residents may visit www.philadelphiastreets.com/holiday/2015-christmas-tree-recycling-program to find the nearest location.

There will be no curbside collection of trees for recycling purposes. Trees left at the curb will be considered as trash and will be picked up on regularly scheduled trash days. As always, the program is for citizens who receive City collected trash and recycling services. Vendors are responsible for making arrangements for the private disposal of their discarded trees.

For additional information regarding the Christmas Tree Recycling Program, or any other Streets Department service, please contact the Customer Affairs Unit at (215) 686-5560, or visit www.philadelphiastreets.com. For all city services, call 3-1-1.