As Mecklenburg County readies for the coldest temperatures of the season, here a some cold weather safety tips to keep you and your families safe! And as always: CALL 911 if you are having an emergency.
Stay safe (and dry) this winter with the following tips:
Check that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have batteries and are functional.
Make sure space heaters are in good working order and have a 3-foot “circle of safety”.
- Cold temperatures bring an increase in space heater fires and 1 of every 7 space heater fires in the past five years has caused a fire death.
Do not use unapproved means for heat.
- Ovens, grills, and open flames can lead to deadly accidents. Stick to approved heating devices.
Wear layers and keeps hands & feet warm and dry.
- Make sure you keep those fingers, toes, and ears warm and covered! Don’t forget to layer on the gloves, hats, and scarves. Make sure if they get wet, you get indoors and change immediately.
- Children are even more susceptible to cold weather exposure. Layer and limit outside play time.
- Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unfamiliar exercise, such as shoveling snow or pushing a car, can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse. Take frequent rest breaks, and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors who may need assistance to ensure they are adequately protected from the cold.
- Infants, seniors, and people with paralysis or neuropathy are at increased risk of hypothermia and frostbite.
Get your car cold weather ready
- Keep cell phones charged and if possible, avoid travelling alone.
- Be aware of changing road conditions and “black ice” patches.
- If you experience trouble, stay with your car. Do not try to walk to safety unless help is visible within 100 yards.
- Display a trouble sign if you need help; tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna and raise the hood to alert rescuers.
Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.