Winter Safety Tips

This is a Winter Safety Tip from the Cayuga County Office of Emergency Management. 

 

KEEPING WARM INDOORS

If your heat goes out during a winter storm, you can keep warm by closing off rooms you do not need.

  1. Use only safe sources of alternative heat such as a fireplace, small well-vented wood or coal stove or portable space heaters. Always follow manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Dress in layers of lightweight clothing and wear a cap.
  3. Eat well-balanced meals.

PROTECTING WATER PIPES

To prevent the mess and aggravation of frozen water pipes, protect your home, apartment or business by following the simple steps below.

  1. Locate and insulate pipes most susceptible to freezing, typically those near outer walls, in crawl spaces or in the attic.
  2. Wrap pipes with heat tape (UL approved).
  3. Seal any leaks that allow cold air inside where pipes are located.

 

  1. Let hot and cold water trickle at night from a faucet on an outside wall.
  2. Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to un-insulated pipes under a sink or appliance near an outer wall.
  3. Make sure heat is left on and set no lower than 55 degrees.
  4. If you plan to be away: (1) Have someone check your house daily to make sure the heat is still on to prevent freezing, or (2) drain and shut off the water system (except indoor sprinkler systems).

If Pipes Freeze

  1. Make sure you and your family knows how to shut off the water, in case pipes burst. Stopping the water flow minimize the damage to your home. Call a plumber and contact your insurance agent.
  2. Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch.
  3. Always be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water.

 

GENERATOR SAFETY

The Cayuga County Office of Emergency Management urges you to follow these safety guidelines when operating a generator:

  1. Run generators outside, downwind of structures. NEVER run a generator indoors. Deadly carbon monoxide gas from the generator's exhaust can spread throughout enclosed spaces. Install a carbon monoxide detector.
  2. Fuel spilled on a hot generator can cause an explosion. If your generator has a detachable fuel tank remove it before refilling. If this is not possible, shut off the generator and let it cool before refilling.
  3. Do not exceed the rated capacity of your generator. Most of the small, home-use portable generators produce from 350 to 12,000 watts of power. Overloading your generator can damage it, the appliances connected to it, and may cause a fire. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Keep children away from generators at all times.

CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent, deadly killer claiming about 1,000 lives each year in the United States. Such common items as automotive exhaust, home heating systems and obstructed chimneys can produce the colorless, odorless gas.

The gas can also be produced by poorly vented generators, kerosene heaters, gas grills and other items used for cooking and heating when used improperly during the winter months.

  1. NEVER run generators indoors. Open a window slightly when using a kerosene heater.
  2. NEVER use charcoal to cook indoors.
  3. NEVER use a gas oven to heat your home.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include sleepiness, headaches and dizziness.

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, ventilate the area and get to a hospital.

PROTECTING PETS

  1. If your pet goes outdoors, be aware of the temperature. Pets can get frostbite very easily on the ears, tail and paws.
  2. When walking your dog, check the paws to make sure that ice is not building up between the toes and that salt from the roads is not irritating the skin. If your dog is a swimmer, keep it on a leash around open water or unstable ice. Hypothermia can set in quickly and the dog may be unable to get out of the water.

HYPOTHERMIA

Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can cause hypothermia, especially in children and the elderly.

Watch for these symptoms:

  1. Inability to concentrate
  2. Poor coordination
  3. Slurred speech
  4. Drowsiness
  5. Exhaustion
  6. Uncontrollable shivering, followed by a sudden lack of shivering

If the person's body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, get emergency medical assistance immediately!

Remove wet clothing, wrap the victim in warm blankets and give warm, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated liquids until help arrives.

FROSTBITE

People working or playing outdoors during the winter can develop frostbite and not even know it.

There is no pain associated with the early stages of frostbite.  Learn to look for these warning signs:

  1. First, the skin may feel numb and become flushed. Then it turns white or grayish-yellow. Frostbitten skin feels cold to the touch.
  2. If frostbite is suspected, move the victim to a warm area. Cover the affected area with something warm and dry. Never rub it!
  3. Then get to a doctor or hospital as quickly as possible.

This is a Winter Safety Tip from the Cayuga County Office of Emergency Management.  For more safety information, visit www.semo.state.ny.us

GENERATOR SAFETY

The Cayuga County Office of Emergency Management urges you to follow these safety guidelines when operating a generator:

  1. Run generators outside, downwind of structures. NEVER run a generator indoors. Deadly carbon monoxide gas from the generator's exhaust can spread throughout enclosed spaces. Install a carbon monoxide detector.
  2. Fuel spilled on a hot generator can cause an explosion. If your generator has a detachable fuel tank remove it before refilling. If this is not possible, shut off the generator and let it cool before refilling.
  3. Do not exceed the rated capacity of your generator. Most of the small, home-use portable generators produce from 350 to 12,000 watts of power. Overloading your generator can damage it, the appliances connected to it, and may cause a fire. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Keep children away from generators at all times.

CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent, deadly killer claiming about 1,000 lives each year in the United States. Such common items as automotive exhaust, home heating systems and obstructed chimneys can produce the colorless, odorless gas.

The gas can also be produced by poorly vented generators, kerosene heaters, gas grills and other items used for cooking and heating when used improperly during the winter months.

  1. NEVER run generators indoors. Open a window slightly when using a kerosene heater.
  2. NEVER use charcoal to cook indoors.
  3. NEVER use a gas oven to heat your home.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include sleepiness, headaches and dizziness.

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, ventilate the area and get to a hospital.

 

 

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