Love your generator?
Each week, we bring you the finest in wisdom from our saintly city manager, Tom Aspell. This week is no exception.
Aspell doesn't waste time making nice in his latest column, but that's because, like any superhero, he's got lives to save.
In a serious tone, he tell us that due to the loss of power suffered by many in our community recently, generator use has been at an all-time high.
"The Code Administration Office cautions that, while tremendously helpful, generators can pose serious life safety risks," Aspell says, shaking his index finger back and forth. "One of these risks is carbon monoxide poisoning."
What's that, you say? Aspell's got the answer.
"Carbon monoxide gas is a colorless, odorless poisonous gas," he says, writing on the blackboard behind him. "It is made when fuels burn improperly or the exhaust is not vented outdoors. The symptoms of CO poisoning can be similar to the flu (but without a fever). The symptoms include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness."
"Every year," he adds somberly, "hundreds of people die from portable generator-related CO poisoning. Most often these occur because people used a generator indoors."
Aspell wants portable generator users (does that mean you, readers?) to know they can prevent CO poisoning by following these important safety tips:
- Never use a generator in a garage, basement, crawl space or other enclosed or partially enclosed area.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the generator.
- Install battery-operated or plug-in CO alarms, with battery backup, in the home. For maximum effectiveness during sleeping hours, CO alarms should be placed close to sleeping areas. Additional alarms on every level and in every bedroom of a home can provide extra protection.
- If the CO alarm goes off, or if you begin to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, immediately get outside and call 911.
For more information, call the Northern New England Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Despite the snow, the city's environmental engineer was at the site of the old Penacook tannery last week, Aspell says, conducting "test pits and borings to determine if any environmental contamination exists underneath the former Penacook Mill, as well as to gauge the thickness of remaining foundation slabs at the property."
That sounds like a fun job.
But we digress. Says Aspell: "Gathering this data is important, as it will help the city negotiate with prospective developers interested in the site."
A total of 10 borings and four test pits will be completed, Aspell says. Funny that they're called "borings," say we.
Test results for soil samples taken from these efforts will be available in late January, Aspell says. The cost of these additional investigations is approximately $15,000, he adds. Does that wake you up, readers?
In bus shelter news . . .
A new one's comin'
Last week, Aspell says, the contractor installed the frame of the new bus shelter at the intersection of Park and North Main streets.
Once the weather improves, Aspell adds, glass panels and seating will be installed and the project will be complete.
The bus shelter has been constructed on a large sidewalk "bump out," which was also built as part of the project, says good ol' Aspell.
"In addition to providing space for placement of the shelter, the bumpout also significantly shortens the distance of a key crosswalk, which runs across North Main Street, thereby greatly improving pedestrian safety," says Aspell, whose thoughts never stray too far from the safety of his charges.
"Also," he adds, "relocation of the CAT bus stop to the northerly side of Park Street has greatly improved vehicular safety in the area, as buses will no longer block Park Street while dropping off or picking up patrons."
Oh, and taxpayers? The majority of this project has been funded by a grant from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Okay?
When the tree dies
Who you gonna call?
Beginning on Jan. 3, Boy Scout Troop #81 of West Concord will pick up trees within the city limits. To make arrangements, call Scout Master Peter Robinson at 731-1082. This is a free service; however, donations will be accepted. HINT HINT.