Stay safe in the cold

Snow-Cold-ThermometerDangerously cold weather has settled across the Midwest this week. Follow these tips to stay warm and safe.

  • Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help maintain body heat.
  • Don’t forget your pets – bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
  • Protect your pipes – run water, even at a trickle, and keep the thermostat up to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
  • If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable—clothing, bedding, curtains, rugs—at least three feet away. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Avoid using a conventional fireplace. Traditional fireplaces are an energy loser because they pull heated air out of the house and release it up the chimney. When not in use, keep the damper closed. Make sure there are no smoldering embers before closing the damper.
  • Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage. If air isn’t circulating, deadly carbon monoxide fumes can quickly build up.
  • NEVER attempt to hook up a portable generator to your home’s wiring.

Check your emergency safety kit

Keep an emergency kit handy and make sure everyone in the family knows where it’s located. At a minimum, keep these items in your kit at all times:

  • Battery-operated or winding flashlight and radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Small fire extinguisher
  • Blankets, extra clothes and boots

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