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Seven Solid Ways to Stay Safe When the Temperature Drops

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Winter has arrived with freezing temperatures and snowstorms in many parts of the nation. Now is the time to ensure you and your family are prepared for the next round of sub-zero temperatures and possible power outages. Here are the American Red Cross top tips for keeping safe when the snow flies and the deep freeze is on:

1. Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat. Wear water-proof and insulated boots to keep feet dry and maintain footing in icy conditions. Pay close attention to children as they may not always indicate that they are cold.

2. Bring pets 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. Ensure that livestock has shelter and access to unfrozen water.

3. Protect your pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.

4. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid the costly repair of pipes that freeze and burst.

5. If you are using a space heater, do it safely. Place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs. Turn off space heaters before going to bed.

6. If you use a wood-burning fireplace do it safely. Use a glass or metal screen large enough to catch sparks or rolling logs. Never leave children alone in the room when a fire is lit. Keep all flammable items at least three feet away from the fireplace. Always make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.

7. Never use a stove, oven or a gas grill to heat your home. Enough said. It’s just not safe.

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