Chief Ricky’s Safety Tips for the Fall and Winter

As we move into the thick of the holidays, we thought it was a great time to check in with Ricky Jordan, Director of Public Safety, on how to safeguard against assorted seasonal risks.

At this time of frigid weather, logs ablaze in fireplaces, and drivers unfamiliar with our rules, we asked Ricky for a few helpful tips on making sure we’re as secure as possible. (And In case you missed it, Ricky provided us with a great safety checklist in October on managing your fireplace and chimney as safely as possible.)

As always, call 911 in case of emergency, whether it’s about an injury, an auto accident, or even if your car swerves far off the road. Calling 911 means that in addition to the emergency response, you will have access to medical aid if needed.
When we have severe winter weather, especially with some form of precipitation, it’s strongly advised that you stay in place even when roads appear clear. Black ice, especially on our hills, is a near invisible hazard that can challenge the most seasoned drivers. Driving in such conditions is not worth the risk.
However, if you’re only stuck on the side of the road because of ice, call Public Safety dispatch at 706-268-3376 for a courtesy ride to your home.
The speed limit around Big Canoe is 25 miles per hour – except on the main roads, such as Wilderness Parkway, where the limit is at 35 m.p.h. Please be mindful of the limit for both the safety of your fellow Property Owners as much as for the wildlife.
The POA received an Ask the POA inquiry about the risks associated with parking a car on a pile of leaves. Chief Ricky says such an incident is exceedingly rare and that there is no record of this ever occurring in Big Canoe, but parking on a leaf-free surface is ideal.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, home heating systems are the second leading cause of home fires and home-fire injuries. Be sure to have your heating system serviced and cleaned professionally and ventilated to the outside. The National Fire Protection Association shared the following tips.
With Christmas right around the corner, always use caution if you have a live Christmas tree. Be sure it stays watered, as a dried-out tree with electrical lighting is a fire hazard.
In case of a fallen limb or tree, please call Public Safety at (706) 268-3376.
Be sure to keep your car stocked with an up-to-date emergency kit, which should include water, non-perishable food, a manual can opener and other essentials. And keep your mobile phone charged – or at least make sure you have some way to remotely charge your device, even if your trip is brief. Georgia Emergency Management recommends that you have the following items in your car, especially if you have a long drive ahead of you.
Know when to call 911 vs. Public Safety. Chief Ricky recommends calling Public Safety “any time anything looks out of place or out of the ordinary.” When there is an emergency – be it medical, fire or criminal – always call 911.

Public Safety is available at 706-268-3376.

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