With another round of snow and cold weather, here are some safety tips for your home, pets and vehicles courtesy of Arapahoe County Public Works and Development. Check the forecast at www.weather.gov, or your favorite weather app or news station, to know when to expect the worst of the cold weather so you can prepare.
- Avoid being outside during the coldest part of the day, typically the early morning.
- If outdoors, dress in layers. Skin exposed to extreme cold are susceptible to frostbite in a matter of minutes.
Protect your Pets and Livestock:
- If you have pets or farm animals, make sure they have plenty of food and water, and are not overly exposed to extreme cold.
- All pets should be brought indoors. Pets should only be allowed outside to use the restroom. Exposure to these extreme wind chills can result in frostbite in as quickly as five to 10 minutes. Ears, paws and noses are the most areas to be affected.
- Owners should monitor their pets at all times during any outdoor activity during this weather and wipe them with a dry towel after bringing them inside.
Protect your Home:
- Know where your water shut-off valve is. You will need to shut off the water to minimize damage if a pipe breaks.
- The valve is in the basement or crawl space in most single-family homes.
- Open cabinet doors leading to exposed pipes (such as doors for sinks), so air inside the home can warm them.
- Keep doors shut of an attached garage.
- Open a faucet farthest from where water enters the house. A slow drip will keep water moving, reducing the chance pipes will freeze. A bucket can be used to capture this water for other household uses.
- Set your thermostat above 65 degrees if leaving your house for several days.
- Remove hoses from exterior faucets.
Be Prepared if Driving:
- Make sure your vehicle has at least half a tank of gas so you can stay warm if you become stranded. Make sure your vehicle includes jumper cables, flashlights, first aid kit, food, water, basic toolkit, shovel, ice scraper, extra clothes, blankets and cell phone charger.
- Those with a diesel vehicle should consider adding an anti-gel agent/additive to their fuel tank. Diesel will gel at temperatures within what is forecast.