Winter Cold – Safety First
Forecasts call for snow and cold weather over the next several days. Take the following precautions and, if possible, check on elderly friends and neighbors. Some basic safety tips follow:
- Avoid exposure by staying indoors.
- Layer clothing to manage heat retention.
- Seek a warming station for relief of inclement conditions if away from the home (call the West Chicago Police Department at (630) 293-2222 for a referral or visit http://www.dupageco.org/ for a list of sites).
- Follow manufacturer directions for supplemental heating devices (maintain proper ventilation, clearance and adherence to guidelines for proper circuits and extension cords).
- Keep heat source away from combustible materials.
- Check carbon monoxide detectors – with furnaces and heaters working over-time, carbon monoxide build-up can become an issue.
If you must venture outdoors:
- Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Wool offers good protection from extreme cold and moisture.
- Don’t forget to wear a hat, gloves and scarf. In extreme cold, frostbite can occur within 60 seconds. Make sure to cover all exposed skin.
- Restrict outdoor exposure for infants, children, and pets.
Staying Safe on the Road
- Don’t run your car or truck in your garage, even if you leave the door open, and make sure the tailpipe is clear of snow, ice and other debris.
- Ensure antifreeze levels are sufficient to avoid freezing.
- Have an emergency supply kit for both your home and car. In the kit include such items as blankets, matches, a standard first-aid kit, flashlight, battery-powered radio, battery-powered clock or watch, extra batteries, snow shovel, booster cables, mobile phone, compass, tool kit, tow rope, tire chains, and brightly colored cloth.
Prevent Water Service Lines from Freezing
During cold weather, property owners should take precautions to prevent the water service line from freezing:
- Insulate or wrap UL-listed heat tape around water pipes.
- Keep cabinet doors open under kitchen and bathroom sinks overnight (make sure nothing contained in cabinets presents a hazard to small children or pets).
- Run water at a small trickle.
- Set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees.
You can find more information in the Illinois Department of Public Health Weathering Winter booklet at www.idph.state.il.us/public/books/weatheringwinter.htm