Temperatures dropped on the weekend, sending ice floes down the Fraser River. Melanie Law photo

Time for winter safety

Don’t use propane torches to thaw frozen pipes - use electric heaters

A very dangerous time of the year has arrived for residents in Quesnel and area — indeed, all through the north.

We are seeing the first of Old Man Winter and we are starting to see some very familiar winter sights – hoar frost is on the bushes and trees and ice floes are rolling down the Fraser River.

It’s very cool to look at, but it should also be a signal that’s there ice on the roads — some of it is black and it’s the most dangerous of its species.

And, dear readers, it should be a huge warning to slow down — all of us have to slow down and drive to road conditions.

That goes for those of us who drive four-by-fours. Yes they plow through snow on a straight line, but they don’t help stay out of the ditches if we’re speeding through corners and they don’t help us brake any more quickly.

This writer has learned to drive to road conditions – the hard way. Yes, I, too, was an upside-down-clown.

So, please slow down and drive defensively. Everyone wants to get home to their loved ones.

Remember, when we’re driving on the highways and byways, we’re all members of a community of drivers who occupying the same space.

It only takes one of us to make a mistake and the result can be tragic and one we may have to live with for the rest of our lives.

While we’re here, let’s sing the praise of the men and women who attend the motor vehicle incidents and complete the many tasks that are necessary to secure the accident scene, extricate trapped occupants and stabilize and transfer victims to the hospital.

Too many times they risk their lives because we make a stupid mistake.

They save us, but only we can prevent the incidents in the first place.

There are other winter concerns we should consider and we don’t even have to step off our property.

They both concern fires – chimney fires and fires from thawing frozen pipe.

Our area volunteer firefighters have already attended some chimney fires.

The biggest key for wood-fire safety is to clean your chimney thoroughly and do it every year – early fall is probably the most pleasant time to get the brushes out and give the chimney a good cleaning.

Obviously, burning dry wood is best and so is letting the fire burn hot from time to time to burn off the creosote before it builds up.

As for frozen pipes, don’t use a propane torch to thaw the pipes – flames can cause fires.

The best alternatives are using heat tape and wrapping exposed pipes, or electric heaters.

Let’s all have a safe winter.

Ken Alexander

Quesnel Cariboo Observer

Just Posted

Highway 97 has slippery sections both north and south of Quesnel

Motorists will have to drive to road conditions and drive with caution

Power back on for all but nine residences in Quesnel area

Hydro crews cleaned up three outages last night, have one left today

Wind storm has wreaked havoc on Central Interior

Quesnel, Prince George have outages, but Williams Lake area hardest hit to date

Vital Information Program part of community preparedness and residents’ safety

The VIP is provided free to seniors, to provide critical information to emergency personnel

Rodeo preparations are year-round

The rodeo season doesn’t gear up till April, but Quesnel riders are already getting ready

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

B.C. NDP set to restructure union bargaining

School trustees to regain control over employer group

A new development surrounding plane that went missing around Revelstoke in November

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

$130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic

Hot summer ticket: $130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic off Newfoundland

UK’s Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew, engaged

Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, will marry Jack Brooksbank in Autumn 2018

German nurse charged with 97 more murders

Niels Hoegel, serving a life sentence for two murders, has been indicted in nearly 100 more killings.

Two men guilty in murders of Alberta family could face 75 years

The pair were found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Klaus’s parents and sister in a rural home near Castor, Alberta

With Senate talks falling short, U.S. shutdown enters workweek

President Donald Trump accused Democrats of prioritizing services and security for noncitizens over U.S. citizens

Most Read