WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. Westchester County health officials are issuing tips and warnings to homeowners who lost power in Saturdays storm after a Dutchess County woman died Monday while using a hibachi inside her house to stay warm.
Peter DeLucia, assistant commissioner of public health for the Westchester County Department of Health, said its important for homeowners to follow certain protocols around the house while the power is out.
Outside the home:
Walk carefully around the property and check for loose or downed power lines, hanging tree limbs, gas leaks, structural damage, roof, foundation and chimney cracks. Do not handle power lines. Instead, call your utility company to report any issues.
If there are any doubts about the structural safety of your home, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
Inside the home:
Never use a gas oven to heat a home. Do not use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, kerosene or charcoal-burning space heater or device inside the house, basement or garage. This could be deadly. Always run gas-powered generators outdoors and away from windows to avoid having fumes enter the house.
If you smell gas or hear a hissing or blowing sound, open a window and leave immediately. If you can, turn off the main gas valve from the outside. Call the gas company from a neighbors home to report the problem.
Bacteria grows readily at temperatures above 41 degrees in many foods and can make one sick. Discard any perishable foods that you are not 100 percent certain are safe.
For more storm safety tips, visit www.westchestergov.com/health .
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