Brrrrr! Cold Weather Safety Advice You Need Now

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cold weather safety

How many photos of car dashboards showing frigid temperatures have you seen on social media today? There’s no denying it: Thanks to the polar vortex we are in a deep freeze. Whether you are inside or outside, safety in these frigid temps is important. Here is cold weather safety advice you need now.

10 Cold Weather Safety Tips

1. Layer, layer, layer

If you need to be outdoors, layer your clothing. Here’s a tip I learned while vacationing in Quebec a few winters ago: There’s no rule that says you can only wear one pair of snow pants at a time. If your kiddos are itching to play outside layer their outerwear.

2. Don’t forget your fury friends

If you’re cold, your pets are cold. Of course Fido needs to go outside to relieve himself, but keep an eye on him so that he can come back in quickly when he’s done. And even the most stalwart barn cat will appreciate warming herself inside.

3. Three feet rule

If you use a space heater, keep it at least three feet away from walls and other surfaces to prevent fire.

4. Supervision required

Only use a space heater while you’re home. Don’t leave it running while you’re away because the risk of fire is great when unsupervised.

5. Sparks lead to fire

When a fire is burning in your fireplace be sure that it is behind a metal mesh or glass screen. Stray sparks can lead to a house fire.

6. Protect your pipes

A frozen pipe leads to a burst pipe, which is an annoying and expensive repair. So, avoid frozen pipes by keeping cabinet doors open to allow warm air to reach the pipes. Also, during cold weather routinely check pipes by running water and flushing toilets.

7. Consistency is best

You’ll pay a bit more by keeping daytime and nighttime heating temps consistent in your home, but you’ll avoid possible frozen pipes.

8. Kitchens are for cooking…not heating

Your oven is for cooking–not for heating your home. It is not safe to use any type of kitchen appliance for household heat.

Alternatively, using your stove top to brew a hot cup of tea (or hot chocolate), and cupping it in your hands while you drink it, will not only warm your belly but also provide residual heat to your hands.

9. Generators belong outside

Period. Because of their carbon monoxide fumes, generators should never, ever be used indoors.

10. Check on your elderly neighbors

We Mainers are known for being neighborly, and that’s never more important than during Arctic weather. Check on elderly and vulnerable neighbors to make sure that they’re adequately warm and have food.

Thanks to the American Red Cross for many of these tips.

What tips and tricks do you have for cold weather safety? Share them on our Facebook page.

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photo of ice via