Stay safe in freezing rain, snow and ice

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on December 17, 2014 with No Comments

Walking and driving in icy conditions can be hazardous when outdoors, but it can also cause a loss of electricity or cause water pipes to freeze and burst. Follow the tips below from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stay safe.

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If there is a power failure:

• Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns rather than candles, if possible. Never leave lit candles unattended.

• Keep as much heat as possible inside your home. Avoid unnecessary opening of doors or windows. Close off unneeded rooms, stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors, and close draperies or cover windows with blankets at night.

If you plan to use a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, be extremely careful. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and remember these safety tips:

• Use fireplace, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak flue gas into the indoor air space.

• Do not burn paper in a fireplace.

• Do not place a space heater within 3 feet of anything that may catch on fire, such as drapes, furniture, or bedding, and never cover your space heater.

• Avoid using extension cords to plug in your space heater. If your space heater has a damaged electrical cord or produces sparks, do not use it.

• Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector and never using generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices indoors.

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Keep a water supply. Extreme cold can cause water pipes in your home to freeze and sometimes break.

• Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.

• Keep the indoor temperature warm.

• Allow more heated air near pipes. Open kitchen cabinet doors under the kitchen sink.

• If your pipes do freeze, do not thaw them with a torch. Thaw the pipes slowly with warm air from an electric hair dryer.

• If you cannot thaw your pipes, or if the pipes have broken open, use bottled water or get water from a neighbor’s home.

• Have bottled water on hand.

• In an emergency—if no other water is available—snow can be melted for water. Bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute will kill most germs but won’t get rid of chemicals sometimes found in snow.

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• Walking on ice is extremely dangerous. Many cold-weather injuries result from falls on ice-covered sidewalks, steps, driveways, and porches. Keep your steps and walkways as free of ice as possible by using rock salt or another chemical de-icing compound. Sand may also be used on walkways to reduce the risk of slipping.


• Listen for radio or television reports of travel advisories issued by the National Weather Service.

• Do not travel in low visibility conditions.

• Avoid traveling on ice-covered roads, overpasses, and bridges if at all possible.

• If you must travel by car, take a mobile phone with you.

• If you must travel, let someone know your destination and when you expect to arrive. Ask them to notify authorities if you are late.

• Check and restock the winter emergency supplies in your car before you leave.

• Never pour water on your windshield to remove ice or snow; shattering may occur.

• Don’t rely on a car to provide sufficient heat; the car may break down.

• Always carry additional warm clothing appropriate for the winter conditions.

For more cold weather safety tips, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov. To visit the Indiana State Department of Health, go to www.StateHealth.in.gov.

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