With winter here and many people out on Saskatchewan highways travelling over the holidays, there’s a reminder from the province to plan accordingly.
The emergency management and fire safety branch is recommending you keep a winter emergency kit in your vehicle.
“You can put kits together very easily yourself or you can actually go and buy pre-readymade kits,” said deputy commissioner Mieka Cleary.
They should include items such as food and water, blankets, extra clothes, heat sources such as a candle or a matchbook, a shovel, first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, a map, and a way to communicate such as a cell phone or a radio.
Cleary said kits can cost about $100.
One of the biggest mistakes drivers tend to make she explained is that they rush out before they’re prepared for the unexpected.
“Not taking the time to ensure that they have everything in order, that they’ve checked the weather, they’ve checked the Highway Hotline, they have all of their materials in case they do get stranded.”
Another important piece of advice that not all drivers may know is if you do get lost or stuck in an isolated area, you should stay with your vehicle instead of wandering away.
“It’s very important that you do stay in your car and call for that help because it is a lot easier for first responders and the search and rescue personnel to be able to go and find you based on where you’ve been and some of the landmarks that you’ve seen than if you go out and then you get turned around and you get lost,” Cleary explained.
If you aren’t headed out on the road over Christmas, the province is still offering some tips to make sure you stay safe within your own home.
Remember to check around the house to ensure electrical cords are not stripped or exposed, not overloaded and not covered with carpeting or other flammable materials.
Never leave open flames such as candles or fireplaces unattended.
Never leave cooking pots or pans unattended on the stove or in the oven when preparing Christmas dinner.
Placing, decorating and disposing of a Christmas tree:
The tree should be placed at least three feet from any heat source like fireplaces, radiators, candles and heat vents.
Tree decoration light strings should be approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), discarded if damaged, and never left on when leaving home or going to sleep.
Trees should also be disposed of quickly after celebrating the holidays.
Remember to check your home’s smoke detectors during the holidays and test them monthly.
Everyone in your home should understand a smoke detector sound and know they are to exit a building quickly and calmly before calling the fire department.