While it did create a glow of wonder, setting a particular atmosphere for Christmas Eve 2019, the heavy fog that fell over Stark County on the morning of Dec. 24 created an issue for many citizens throughout the region.
“It was certainly inconvenient,” Josh Hong, a Dickinson resident told the Press as he stared into the white haze that had covered Villard St. Although he hadn’t done much traveling through the fog the past few days, the Stark County native said he was weary of the weather.
According to the National Weather Service, this inclimate weather is predicted to last until Thursday afternoon at the earliest. The North Dakota Department of Transportation also warns of scattered snow and drifts on Interstate 94, from exit 59 to 64.
Given the dangerous conditions that this weather creates, the Dickinson Fire Department is adamant in reminding the city’s residents to be cautious of fire safety during the winter months.
“The risk of home fires is higher during this time of year, but simple steps can help protect your family and friends,” the department in an online statement.
The DFD divides cold weather safety into three categories: indoor, outdoor and travel.
Indoor fire safety, according to the DFD’s online resources, includes being aware of candles, fireplaces and space heaters. Among the general rules for indoor fire safety are keeping candles well away from Christmas trees, decorations, curtains and other combustibles and never putting candles in windows or near exits, never leaving children alone in a room with a fireplace fire and turning off space heaters before leaving a room or going to sleep.
Outdoor fire safety includes an awareness of power lines, home electrical safety and sewer gas safety.
“Never touch anyone or anything that is in contact with a downed line,” the department warns, before reminding readers to store electrical tools indoors and away from children.
As for sewer gas safety, the DFD cautions the following: “sewer gas can enter a home through a floor drain if the street vents are blocked or the drain is clogged, from a leaking or blocked roof vent pipe, or through cracks in foundations if the gases are in soil adjacent to the house.”
“Try to follow the odor to locate the point of entry, such as a basement floor drain or a blocked vent pipe on the roof,” the statement offers to those who suspect noxious fumes in their homes. “By adding water to the floor drain or removing debris from a roof vent pipe or city street vent, you may be able to prevent sewer gas from entering your home.
As for traveling in extreme weather conditions, the department suggests checking the weather checking your vehicle, and having an “Vehicle Emergency Kit” prepared and stored in a dry, easily accessible location, before you go out.
In addition, the Dickinson Fire Department suggests that, when warming it, you should remove your vehicle from your garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine/motor indoors, even if the garage doors are open.
Finally, all emergency exits and egress windows should be kept clear of snow, ice and clutter.