Tips for Residents to Stay Safe & Protect Property During Extreme Cold

With upcoming temperatures expected to be near or at record lows, City residents are encouraged to read through the following tips to stay safe and protect their property.

Stay Safe:
Be sure to check your carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries regularly. If you are using space heaters, be sure to use them on a hard, level surface away from flammables, and make sure that they are plugged directly into an outlet-not a power strip. Do not use stoves, ovens or grills for heat. Check your meter and areas around heating equipment and use a broom to remove any remaining snow and ice.

If you can, please stay indoors as frostbite can develop quickly in these extreme temperatures. If you must venture out, be sure to bundle up and make sure your vehicle has at least a half tank of fuel. Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly, and be sure to bring pets indoors.

Protect your Property:
Extreme cold temperatures cause concerns for frozen water pipes. Taking the time now to insulate or apply heat tape to water pipes can help prevent this issue. Allowing a faucet to drip and keeping the doors open to cabinets with pipes inside them can also help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Be sure to locate and label your water-shutoff valve. Should your pipes freeze and burst, shutting off the water as quickly as possible will help minimize property damage.
Whether heating your home with electric or gas, your appliances will be working overtime to keep your residence warm when temperatures drop. To avoid “sticker shock” on next month’s utility bill, limit the use of space heaters when possible. Also, keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature and resist the urge to crank it up. Add a layer of clothing or an extra blanket instead.

An energy audit can be a great way to identify areas in your home where insulation and other energy saving features can be applied. In the short term, you can seal air leaks where you feel cold drafts by hanging blankets over windows and doors, installing DIY plastic insulation kits on your windows, or by placing draft stoppers along the base of your doors. Despite best efforts, with such extreme cold temperatures, utility bills will likely be higher next month. If you are having trouble paying your heating bill, please contact the Salvation Army at 419-352-5918.