FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              Connecticut Department of Public Health

January 21, 2014                                                         Contact: William Gerrish

                                                                                    (860) 509-7270


Hartford – In anticipation of today’s storm, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) advises residents of precautions to take when removing snow.


Shoveling snow:


· If you are inactive or have a history of heart trouble, talk to your doctor before taking on the task of  shoveling snow.

· Protect your back from injury by lifting correctly. Correct lifting includes lifting with your knees and keeping the load close to your body. It is also important to avoid twisting motions when moving; instead reposition your feet to a better position before dumping snow.

· Drink plenty of water while engaging in this rigorous outdoor activity. Dehydration is a winter issue just like it is in the summer months.

· Take it slow! Shoveling can raise your heart rate and blood pressure dramatically. Be sure to stretch out and warm up before taking on the task.

· Use a shovel with a small blade and take small scoops, especially when shoveling wet snow.

· Whether shoveling or using a snow thrower, do so during the warmest part of the day.


Snow blowers/snow throwers:


· Never wear scarves or other loose clothing that can become entangled in the snow thrower’s moving parts.

· When moving the snow thrower, avoid awkward positions and twisting, as you can easily injure your back or slip on the icy pavement.

· NEVER place hands and feet inside the moving mechanical parts of the snow thrower while the engine is running, as the machine can seriously injure you.

· If the machine becomes clogged, turn it off and use the clearing tool to unclog it. NEVER use your hands or feet to remove the clog.

· For gas model engines, wait for the machine to cool before refueling.

· Do not run your gas-powered snow thrower in a closed area, like a garage or shed, as it releases carbon monoxide (CO) and can cause CO to build-up.


After a snow storm:


· Make sure inlets and outlets for your furnace are free of snow. Some furnaces have exhaust vents that could become blocked by snow, causing ventilation problems. Know what type of exhaust system your furnace has and where the exhaust inlets and outlets are located for your home.

· Check your car's exhaust pipe to make sure it is clear. A clogged exhaust pipe could lead to carbon monoxide buildup in your vehicle.