Until the winter draws to a close, keeping safe amid cold weather conditions is going to remain important. It might be February already, but that just means that we have about two more months where cold or snowy circumstances could compromise our safety, even in California. To make sure that you stay safe if you ever find yourself in the midst of inclement winter weather, consider some safety tips from the Southwestern New York American Red Cross.
Safety starts in your own residence. Many people, especially those who live in states that are warm most of the year and thus don’t have a heater, turn to alternative heat sources in the winter. If you go with such an option, then you need to be careful. A space heater is an acceptable device, but only if it’s kept away from flammable materials in a place where it can’t tip. Pets and young kids should keep a sufficient distance, and you should always remember to turn the heater off prior to falling asleep or exiting the room.
Space heaters may be permissible, but ovens are not. Please, don’t turn on the oven to heat your home. A fireplace, if you have one, is a much better idea, but even then you still have to be careful. Put out the fire if you leave the room or residence, and always keep a screen in place to protect the area nearby.
Also be careful when it comes to the pipes in your home. If the weather grows particularly cold, the water inside can freeze and cause the pipes to burst. To prevent this, open those cabinets that contain pipes so that warm air can gain access to the area.
Safety should also extend beyond your home and onto the road when you travel amid winter weather. You should prepare yourself whenever you leave by carrying an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle at all times.
When you do find yourself stuck alongside or on the road, don’t panic. If you can avoid it, don’t leave the vehicle to find help, as you could put yourself at risk, especially along highways or in areas that are not well-lit. Instead, call for help and bide your time inside the automobile. Turn on your dome light so that incoming emergency responders will be able to easily spot you. Run your vehicle (and your heater) for about ten minutes each hour; anymore than that and you’ll risk a build-up of carbon monoxide. Also reduce this risk by keeping the area around your exhaust clear of snow and debris.
Finally, roll down one window that faces opposite the wind when you’re stuck. That way, you should be able to stay warm while allowing in fresh air that can keep you healthy and safe.