Tuesday, January 05, 2010

TOP STORY >> Weather safety tips from Red Cross

The Red Cross offers several suggestions to help stay safe during winter storms.

Tips for staying safe at home:

Be careful with candles – do not use candles for lighting if the power goes out. Use flashlights only.

Don’t use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement or garage. Locate units away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

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 because the temperature of the water running through it is above freezing. Keep the thermostat set to a consistent temperature.

Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.

If you plan on using a fireplace to stay warm, keep a glass or metal fire screen around the fireplace and never leave a lit 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.

Avoid overloading electrical outlets.

Check on your animals and make sure that their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles. If possible, bring them indoors.

Tips for protecting yourself while outdoors and traveling:

Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks and stairs.

If you shovel snow, be extremely careful. Take frequent breaks, stay hydrated and avoid overexertion.

Minimize travel whenever possible. If travel is necessary keep a disaster-supplies kit with extra food and blankets in your vehicle.

Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog.

Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.