CLEVELAND, June 11, 2012 /CNW/ - With the summer months come fun in the
sun, but the warm weather can also spell trouble. With thunderstorms,
floods, lightning, strong winds, tornadoes, and even talk of
hurricanes, consumers should be prepared for severe conditions and the
aftermath that can sometimes accompany warmer weather.
"While the weather is often unpredictable, it's probable that many
Americans will experience a moderate to severe weather event in their
area sometime this season," said Anthony Toderian, safety spokesperson,
CSA Group. "Therefore, CSA Group is reminding people that it's
extremely important that they prepare now for the severe weather that
CSA Group, a leading certification and testing organization, wants to
help people stay safe during the coming summer months by offering the
following safety tips:
TORNADOES AND HURRICANES
The U.S. can expect close to one thousand tornadoes to strike each year
and as many as eight hurricanes. CSA Group encourages consumers to
remember essential safety tips when it comes to recovering from a
tornado or hurricane:
Return home only when advised by local authorities and obey all
emergency personnel instructions.
Be prepared with safety apparel and equipment that is certified by an
accredited certification organization such as CSA Group. Basic items
Certified protective footwear to protect against electric shock,
puncture and impact injuries; protective gloves, head wear and eye
wear; protective masks if airborne biological hazards or other toxins
such as lead dust or mold may be present.
Personal first aid kit with antiseptic wipes.
Portable battery, solar or crank-operated radio to receive updates and
warnings from local authorities.
Clean drinking water.
Flashlight or chemical glow sticks (do not use candles or any open flame
as they may cause a fire or explosion and never smoke around damaged
buildings or facilities).
Before approaching your home, check the surrounding area for hazards
such as downed power lines, debris, or other dangers. Mark and report
any hazards or hazardous goods to local authorities. Treat all power
lines as live and never touch!
Check outside the home for obvious structural faults. Do not enter if
serious structural damage is evident.
Examine the exterior for gas leaks or electrical hazards. If possible,
turn your gas off at the meter. If you can access your main electric
box without going through standing water or entering the home, turn off
the main breaker. If the gas or electrical controls are inside the
home, turn them off only after it has been deemed safe to enter your
home by qualified emergency personnel or a building inspector.
Upon entering, slowly and carefully watch for hazards. Beware of jammed
doors, sagging ceilings or floors that suggest structural collapse.
Leave immediately if you hear shifting or unusual noises that signal
the structure may fall or if you smell gas.
Do not operate gas or electrical equipment until it has been dried,
cleaned and inspected. Some equipment such as hot water heaters may
need to be replaced entirely if floodwaters have reached the burners,
electrical parts or insulation. Replace only with certified equipment.
Check for broken, leaky or shifted water and gas pipes and lines before
STORMS AND FLOODING
Nine to 15 tropical storms hit American waters in an average year, often
wreaking havoc. Even an "average" thunderstorm can cause severe damage.
CSA Group reminds consumers to keep in mind the following when dealing
with the aftermath of storms and flooding:
Beware of standing water inside and out that can be breeding ground for
micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria and mold. When floodwaters
have sewage or animal carcasses present, infectious disease is an added
concern. Do not use contaminated water for cooking or washing.
Everything that has been touched by floodwaters should be cleaned and
disinfected. Materials that cannot be effectively cleaned, such as
carpeting, mattresses, and stuffed toys or stuffed furniture should be
discarded. Remove and discard wet wallboard/drywall/gypsum and
Start the drying process as soon as possible by opening all windows and
doors to allow fresh air to move freely. Use fans and dehumidifiers
certified by an accredited organization such as CSA Group to aid the
If your basement remains flooded, drain it slowly and carefully only
when standing water outside the home is no longer visible on the
ground. Removing water too quickly from your basement may put pressure
on your home's outer walls and significantly damage or collapse your
Heating and air conditioning ducts may have mud or debris and may need
to be cleaned and disinfected.
There are an estimate 20 million lightning strikes in the country, with
an average of one strike every three seconds in the summer. This along
with extreme heat can lead to brownouts, or even blackouts. If faced
with this situation, there are some important safety considerations:
Use generators carefully and always follow instructions, ensuring your
generator is rated for the amount of electricity you will need. To
prevent shock, the generator must be properly grounded. Only use
generators that have been tested and certified by an accredited
organization such as CSA Group.
Do not connect a generator directly to a home's wiring, which could send
high-voltage current or "backfeed" to outside power lines connected to
your house. Backfeed could be fatal to electrical workers, neighbours
or anyone that touches the power line and may cause additional damage
to your home.
To prevent fires, never refuel a generator when it's running or while
still hot and keep an appropriate fire extinguisher nearby at all
times. Be sure to store fuel containers outside and away from buildings
If you must use an extension cord, ensure that it is certified for
outdoor use and check it often for overheating. Do not attach multiple
Consider using portable solar panels and battery units for smaller
For more everyday consumer tips and safety advice, please visit www.csasafetytips.com
About CSA Group
CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit membership association
dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability. Its knowledge and
expertise encompass standards development; training and advisory
solutions; global testing and certification services across key
business areas including hazardous location and industrial, plumbing
and construction, medical, safety and technology, appliances and gas,
alternative energy, lighting and sustainability; as well as consumer
product evaluation services. The CSA certification mark appears on
billions of products worldwide. For more information about CSA Group
SOURCE CSA Group
For further information:
Manager, Corporate Affairs