Not only is the bitter cold painful to deal with and have us all wishing for summer, but it can be dangerous as well. Not many realize how the drastic dip in temperature can become hazardous, and is important to take seriously. Make sure to take precautionary measures when the temperature drops as low as it has today on Long Island.
There are a couple of different things to keep in mind when the winter cold sets in, and temps drop below freezing. Your home, your car and the road during your morning commute all come into play when it comes to cold weather safety, and it is important to err on the side of caution when it comes to handling cold weather conditions.
In Your Home
When the temperature drops, most people crank up the heat in their home to take away the chill. Be sure you’re using your heat properly and that your pipes are safe. It is a good idea to let your faucets drip just a little, to assure that your pipes do not freeze. If you are using a space heater, be extra cautious when deciding where to place it. Keep it a couple of feet away from things that can catch on fire such as clothing, bedding or rugs. Be sure to turn it off and unplug it when you are finished using it because according to NFPA and USFA, space heaters are the leading cause of fires during the cold winter months. Instead of the space heater, some use their stoves or ovens to keep their house warm. I would not consider this an option, especially if you have a gas stove. It can cause the people in the household to become ill with carbon monoxide poisoning and can also put those at serious risk for burns. If you still feel the winter chill when you’re inside, try lighting a fire in the fireplace to help warm up a bit.
Another thing to keep a close eye on in the home, is your loving pets! They also need extra protection during the winter months, just like their owners. If your pet is unable to live inside your home, be sure they have proper shelter that will keep them toasty while outside. This can include a barn, shed or a dog house that is warm enough for them to sleep in. It is a good idea to feed them more than the usual amount so they have enough fueling calories to keep themselves warm. Also make sure to refill your pets water bowl every so often since the water can freeze up from the cool air. Check out some other helpful tips given by the Suffolk County SPCA on how to care for your furry friend during the winter.
During the winter months, most let their vehicles heat up for a good amount of time before driving them. This should be a priority when the temperature dips this low since it can make it more difficult for your car to start. Plus, your car will run more efficiently once it has been heated up. If you have an older vehicle, it is a good idea to check the battery as well just to assure that the cold has not affected it. Falling temperatures can also cause your tire pressure to go down, so be sure to double check this before taking a long commute.
On the Road
Once the temperature falls, any water on the ground quickly turns to ice. Be alert while driving and be sure to pay attention for black ice and shiny spots on the road since we recently experienced snow that was melted from rainfall. It is also a good idea to be extra safe since others on the road may not have taken the safety measures that you have. Remember, an accident can be prevented if just one person was paying enough attention.
Taking the correct precautions can prevent threatening situations from occurring so make sure you utilize these tips this winter and the cold months years ahead. Share your knowledge with your loved ones to keep them from making a chilling mistake.
Have some tips on staying safe this winter?
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