Cold Weather’s Coming – Crack The Faucet And Other Safety Tips
We're in a for a week of frigid temperatures so remember to take a few precautions to keep yourself and your belongings safe.
TV-5's Meteorologist Todd Simcox told us this morning that we're in for some seriously cold weather to finish out 2017. Temperatures on Wednesday are going to drop to around 10 degrees, but the wind chill is going to make it feel like the single numbers. We're Mainers, so we can survive this. But it never hurts to offer a few reminders about staying safe in those kinds of temperatures. You know...for people 'from away' who might be visiting or new to the state.
Extreme cold requires layers, and more layers. A combination of thermal and fleece, along with a heavy jacket and/or a sweater will help ward off the chill. But remember to wear mittens or gloves, keep a hat on your head, and use a scarf to cover as much of your face as possible. Exposed skin in these temperatures can spell trouble quickly.
No one wants to deal with frozen pipes. Whether you're the one thawing them, or the one paying the person who's going to do the job, it's not a desirable situation. So, it's a good idea to crack the faucets, meaning to let a trickle of water run continuously. Moving water is much less apt to freeze. In addition, you can open the cabinet doors under your sinks to allow the warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
Just because our pets wear a fur coat doesn't mean they're enjoying the extreme cold any more than we are, or that it's any safer for them. So bring the pets inside. Don't let them stay out too long, even if they appear to be having fun. And, with all this new snow, take the time to gently wipe down their paws when they come inside, to remove any ice, snow, or ice melt that may be caught in their pads. And, if you're using an ice melting chemical, like salt, make sure that it's safe for your furry friends.
Every car in the winter should have some sort of emergency pack, just in case you get stuck or have to wait for a repair person to rescue you. So, along with the jumper cables and flashlights, add a blanket, some dry socks, mittens, and a hat. The 'hot hands' and 'hot body' products used by hunters are also great for warming you up and won't take much room. A couple bottles of water and some granola bars should help keep you safe until the tow truck finds you.
Space heaters can be a real blessing. One of my coworkers and I share one, since we work at different times of the day. But it's important to use the heaters safely. Keep all combustibles at least three feet away from the device, to avoid an accidental fire. Don't use them around small children unless the kids understand how dangerous they are. Set the heater up on a flat, level surface to avoid having it fall over. And make sure to turn it off when going to bed or leaving the house. Find more safety tips on the American Red Cross website.