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Be prepared, take precautions when dealing with severe weather

Photo caption: Make sure your alarms have battery backup in case of power outages during storms

(NC)— Mother Nature reminded Canadians just who is boss, as she recently unleashed severe or atypical weather right across the country. Whether it was unexpected volumes of snow, ice storms and high winds, or just freezing temperatures, one thing was clear: how we prepare for and endure severe weather can literally mean life or death.

The following checklist can help keep your family safe. It is provided by home safety expert Carol Heller of Kidde Canada, a leading home fire safety company.

If the power goes out, never use a barbecue as a source of heat or run gas generators indoors or in a garage…even if the garage door is open. Carbon monoxide fumes can pass through the walls of your home and expose your family to the invisible and deadly gas.

Make sure all hardwired or plug-in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have battery backup. This will keep them operating if you lose power. Otherwise you are not protected.

After extended power outages, replace the backup battery in your alarms in case the extended use drained it completely.

All gas-fired devices must be vented, so be sure to clear outdoor vents of deep snow or other debris.

If you use candles to provide light, make sure that they are contained in glass jars well away from flammable materials such as drapes and table cloths. And extinguish them when you go to bed.

The website www.safeathome.ca also offers more family safety tips.

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