Winter weather safety tips


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News release from the Fort Wayne Fire Department:

Winter Weather Safety Tips
The Fort Wayne Fire Department Reminds Residents to Stay Warm and Safe During Cold Weather

(January 5, 2015) — Along with the new year, winter weather has arrived. Extremely cold temperatures are forecasted along with some precipitation over the next few days. The Fort Wayne Fire Department wants everyone to stay safe and offers the following safety tips on how to best care for yourself and your family when temperatures plummet.

Protect Yourself:

  • Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, which will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat.
  • Mittens provide more warmth to your hands than gloves.
  • Wear a hat, preferably one that covers your ears.
  • Utilize a scarf or knit mask to cover your face and mouth.
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
  • If working outside, take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
  • Limit your time outdoors and stay dry.
  • Shivering is the first sign the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.

Protect Yourself at Home:

  • Keep the home’s thermostat set to a consistent temperature
  • Prevent frozen pipes – when the weather is very cold outside, open cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around water pipes.
  • Let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Never attempt to thaw pipes using a blow torch or any open flame device. Use warm water or a ULlisted device such as a hand-held hair dryer.

Safely Heating Your Home:

  • Have your home’s heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • If you use your fireplace for a fire, keep a glass or metal fire screen around the fireplace and never leave a fireplace fire unattended.
  • Do not burn paper in a fireplace or use an accelerant to start/grow the fire.
  • If you plan on using an alternate heating source, only use alternate heating sources approved for indoor use.
  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  • If using a space heater, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to safely use the heater. Place it on a level, hard, nonflammable surface away from combustible materials including curtains and furniture.
  • Always turn the space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Keep children and pets away from your space heater and do not use it to dry wet clothing.

Always Practice Safety:

  • Ensure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in proper working order.
  • Detectors should be tested monthly and batteries should be changed annually. All detectors should be replaced every ten years.

Finally, don’t forget your pets. If you can’t bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they have access to fresh water.

The FWFD urges you to be prepared and plan ahead for this cold weather snap. Please visit for further winter safety tips.


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