Twelve ways to stay safe in the cold

(FOX19) - The Colerain Twp. Fire-EMS would like to suggest the following safety tips to all residents of the Greater Cincinnati area:

1. Dress in warm layers and cover all exposed skin to avoid frostbite.

2. Do not overexert yourself while shoveling snow.  It is better to pace yourself for both the cold and the weight of the snow.

3. Avoid falls -- ice patches can form especially after thawing and refreezing.  Look carefully before you take a step.

4. Test your smoke alarm to make sure it is working properly. Have two ways out of every room in the house.

5. If you use space heaters, make sure there is a three foot minimum clearance from any combustible materials completely around or under the unit. 
6. Check items such curtains and bed linens so they cannot accidentally touch or be blown onto the space heater.  Never place damp clothes directly on the heater.

7. Have a working flashlight in the event you lose electric power.  Use candles only in rooms that you are actively occupying and keep them contained in a glass chimney or jar so that nothing combustible can come in contact with them.

8. Clear fire hydrants of snow, especially in cul-de-sacs and other areas where snowplows have piled the snow during removal from the streets.

9. Keep residential water pipes heated to avoid pipes bursting from the extreme cold. Broken pipes will appear when temperatures return to above freezing.

10. Open cabinets or remove other obstructions so heat can reach pipes, especially those on outside walls.

11. Know where the water shut-off is in your house  or business, and how to operate it so that you can minimize water damage from a burst pipe.

12. Use nothing hotter than a hair dryer to thaw a frozen pipe and avoid any electrical hazard s from water conducting the electricity.

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