March 2014 - Code Compliance

How to Prevent Winter Home Safety Hazards

March 1, 2014


Unusual amounts of snowfall this winter has made it very challenging to stay on top of snow removal.  Having access to homes and workplaces obstructed by fallen snow and snow banks is vital for public safety in the event of an emergency.

Here are a few things to consider; 

  • Ensure fire hydrants are cleared of snow and are visible to responding emergency vehicles.
  • Maintain a one-metre wide fire access route to the principal face of the building.
  • During a snowstorm or at night it can be more difficult for emergency responders to locate a house number if it is covered with snow. Clear away any snow buildup to ensure your home address is always visible.
  • Clear snow away from exterior doors to allow for a quick and safe means of egress in an emergency.
  • Keep furnace and hot water combustion exhaust vents clear of snow.  Carbon monoxide (CO) can build up inside your home if the vents are blocked.
  • Having properly working CO alarms in your home can provide an early warning before this gas reaches potentially dangerous levels.
  • Prevent snow and ice from gathering on outside meters to provide access for emergency and utility workers.
  • Large buildings that are equipped with standpipe system connections on the outside of the building must be clearly visible and accessible to emergency staff at all times.