The Cayman Islands Fire Service is encouraging all members of the public to be safe when cleaning up around their homes after the passing of Tropical Storm Grace.
First and foremost amongst the Fire Service’s safety advice is for residents to have the electrical service to their homes inspected properly for damages in order to prevent the possibility of an electrical fire.
In addition, the CIFS shared the following general safety tips for clean-up after a natural disaster or experiencing severe weather conditions:
• Get the right safety gear
- Hard hats
- N95 masks (or a respirator with a higher protection level)
- Heavy work gloves
- Waterproof boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank)
- Earplugs or protective headphones (if you’re working with noisy equipment)
- At least two fire extinguishers (each with a UL rating of at least 10A)
• If sewage is involved, make sure to wear the following during clean-up
- Rubber boots
- Rubber gloves
• Use teams to move heavy/bulky objects
- Have teams of at least two people work together to move heavy or bulky objects.
- Avoid lifting any material that weighs more than 50 pounds (per person).
• Pace yourself. Cleaning up your home can be a big job. Be sure to take care of yourself:
- Rest when you need to.
- Decide which clean-up tasks are most important, and focus on those first. That way, you’re less likely to be overwhelmed.
- Try to work with other people, so you aren’t alone.
- Get support from family members, friends, counsellors, or therapists.
• Take precautions when using a chainsaw
- When using a chain saw, always follow manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to wear appropriate protective gear, and be sure that bystanders are a safe distance away.
- Avoid contact with power lines, and take extra care in cutting trees or branches that are bent or caught under something else.
- Use extreme caution to avoid electrical shock when using an electric chain saw.
• Stay safe in hot weather
- In hot weather, try to stay cool by staying in air-conditioned buildings, taking breaks in shaded areas or in cool rooms, drinking water and non-alcoholic fluids often, and wearing light and loose-fitting clothing.
- Do outdoor activities during cooler hours.