The Fort Wayne Fire Department wants everyone to stay safe and warm during winter weather and offers the following safety tips on how to best care for yourself and your family when temperatures plummet:
· Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, which will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat.
· Mittens provide more warmth to your hands than gloves.
· Wear a hat, preferably one that covers your ears.
· Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice
· If working outside, take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
Protect Yourself at Home:
· Be careful with candles – do not use candles for lighting if the power goes out. Use flashlights only.
· Use generators correctly –never operate a generator inside your home, including the basement garage or porch. Run the generator as far away from the house as possible and point the exhaust away from open doors and windows to avoid potential carbon monoxide poisoning.
· Install and/or check carbon monoxide detectors.
· Prevent frozen pipes – when the weather is very cold outside, open cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around water pipes. Let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
· Never attempt to thaw pipes using a blow torch or any open flame device. Use warm water or a UL-listed device such as a hand-held hair dryer.
· Keep the thermostat set to a consistent temperature.
· Check smoke alarms once a month by pressing the test button and replace batteries as necessary.
- Don’t forget your pets. If you can’t bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they can get to unfrozen water.
- If you plan on using an alternate heating source, never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
- Keep a glass or metal fire screen around the fireplace and never leave a fireplace fire unattended.
- If using a space heater, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to safely use the heater. Place it on a level, hard, nonflammable surface. Turn the space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep. Keep children and pets away from your space heater and do not use it to dry wet clothing.