Get Ready Capitol Region
 
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Winter Safety Tips

 

Cold winter weather is fast approaching, and with it comes a variety of health and safety hazards both indoors and out.

 

  • Keep emergency gear in your car, including a cell phone, flashlight, jumper cables, sand or kitty litter, ice scraper/snow brush, small shovel, blankets, and warning devices. For longer trips take food, water, extra blankets, and required medication.

  • If you must travel in bad weather, drive slowly and let someone your route and anticipated arrival time. 

  • Try to get to the store before a storm hits. 

  • Carbon monoxide kills. Don’t sit in a parked car with the engine running unless a window is open. Don’t warm up your car in the garage. If your car is outside, make sure the exhaust pipe and the area around it are free of snow. 

  • If you are stopped or stalled, light two flares, and place one at each end of the car. Stay in your vehicle and open a window slightly. Wrap yourself in blankets. Run your heater for a few minutes every hour to keep warm.  

DRESS FOR THE COLD

Walking in a winter wonderland won’t be so wonderful if you aren’t prepared for the weather. Not dressing properly can lead to hypothermia, a serious condition in which your body temperature cools down to abnormal levels.

  • Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, and wear mittens instead of gloves. Trapped, insulating air warmed by body heat is the best protection from the cold.

  • Wear a hat and make sure shoes or boots have nonskid soles.

  • Change out of wet clothes as soon as possible.

 

HOME HEATING

Colder weather means it’s time to turn on your furnace or other heating device. But take care,

December, January, and February are the leading months for home fires, and heating

devices are often the culprit. With proper precautions you’ll be safe and warm this season.

 

  • Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm near your bedrooms and on each floor.  

  • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath.  

  • Have your heating system tuned up each year. If you heat your home with a wood stove, have the chimney connection and flue checked each year and make sure the stove is placed on an approved stove board to protect your floor from heat.  

  • Your wood-burning fireplace should have a sturdy fire screen in place. Make sure your chimney and flue are inspected each year and cleaned, if needed. Burn only untreated wood. Never burn paper or pine branches: pieces can float out the chimney and ignite your roof or your neighbor’s as well as nearby trees.