Official: Stay safe in cold weather

·2 min read

Jan. 12—PLATTSBURGH — As the cold weather blows into the North Country, many dangers accompany it.

Eric Day, emergency service director for Clinton County, said there are many precautions residents can take to ensure their safety in the freezing temperatures.

OUTDOOR DANGERS

"Frostbite is obviously a concern outdoors. It doesn't take very long for exposure of bare skin to see the effects of the cold when it's this cold out, especially with a wind chill, " Day said.

"If you're traveling anywhere, make sure you have warm jackets, blankets, gloves and hats in the car with you. Dress in layers, and wear appropriate clothing. If you were to get stuck, while traveling in the winter time, it's good to have warmer clothing and blankets just in case."

SPACE HEATERS

As the temperatures drop into the negatives, like they did Monday night into Tuesday, many dangers will present themselves around the home as well, Day said.

"As far as around the house, one of the big problems that comes up every year, and we can connect it back to the recent fire in New York City in the big apartment building, are space heaters," Day said.

"We have those same problems with space heaters here on an annual basis. Space heaters are dangerous. A lot of times they can easily be tipped over or knocked over by pets and children, or people can inadvertently have curtains, clothing, and blankets too close to them and cause a fire."

ELECTRICITY RISKS

People should also be cautious of plugging in a space heater to a power strip or anything that can't withstand the high electricity, Day said.

"The biggest single problem is folks running space heaters that are connected to power strips," Day said.

"Space heaters draw a lot of electricity to generate that heat, power strips are not designed to carry high amounts of electricity from a space heater for a long period of time. Also, if you have to run a space heater, make sure you're using a newer one that has a device in them that if they tip over they shut off, don't leave them unattended, and certainly don't run them on power strips."

THAWING PIPES

Thawing frozen pipes yourself can be dangerous, Day said, and can lead to many accidents.

"Thawing pipes can be dangerous, especially when using a small blow torch or salamander heaters in crawl spaces," Day said.

"Any time you're doing work like that you can't leave the equipment unattended, it needs to be watched to make sure nothing happens."

Email Carly Newton:

cnewton@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: CarlySNewton