Freezing temperatures can put you and your family at an increased risk of a home fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure you prepare for the frigid temperatures and follow these tips from CCFR, Ready.gov and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to get through the cold winter safely.
Preparing For The Cold
- Check carbon monoxide and smoke alarms to ensure they are in working order. These should be installed on every level of the home, and outside bedrooms.
- Place weather stripping around window and doors.
- Ensure your car emergency kit has a fully charged portable cell-phone charger, ice scraper, jumper cables and blankets.
- Have your furnace and fireplace professionally inspected and cleaned.
During The Cold Weather
- Limit the time spent outdoors. If you go outside, ensure you are dressed for the weather.
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or similar device inside the house, garage or other enclosed areas.
- Bring pets inside.
- Check on elderly and disabled neighbors and family members.
- If using a space heater make sure to follow these tips, keep the heater at least three feet away from anything that could catch fire, and plugged directly into a wall outlet.
- When using a fireplace only use dry, seasoned wood and make sure there is a fireplace screen in front of the fire. Dispose of any ashes in a metal container that is stored away from the house.
Dressing For The Cold
- Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.
- Use mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
- Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf.
- Know the signs of hypothermia and frostbite. The CDC has additional information here.