Chief Timothy Clancy and the Whitman Fire Department would like to share safety precautions with residents ahead of the expected extreme cold weather.
At this time, the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Watch from 4 a.m. Friday through 1 p.m. Saturday. Dangerously cold wind chills are possible -- as low as 30 below zero. Wind chills that low could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.
The Whitman Fire Department wishes to share the following tips to help keep residents safe in cold weather situations and conditions:
- Reduce outdoor activities for the whole family.
- Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pets.
- Don’t keep your pets outdoors for long periods of time during very cold weather. Look for signs that your pet’s feet are uncomfortably cold, which could include them frequently lifting up their paws, whining, or stopping.
- Never leave a pet locked inside a car during extremely cold weather.
- Minimize travel. Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle if you must travel. Check tire pressure, antifreeze levels, heater/defroster, etc. before leaving.
- Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing instead of a single heavy layer. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens (not gloves), and sturdy waterproof boots to protect your arms, legs, hands and feet. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
- Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies.
- Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, and those who may need extra help.
- Follow recommended safety precautions when using space heaters, a fireplace, or a woodstove to heat your home. Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
- Never use an oven to heat your home.
- Space heaters:
- Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets. Do not use an extension cord, even a heavy-duty one.
- Turn off a space heater when you leave the room or when you go to bed. Never leave a space heater unattended or running while you sleep.
- Put heaters on a level surface away from places where someone might bump into it and knock it over.
- Buy heaters that are tested and labeled by a nationally recognized testing company.
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
- Make sure emergency generators or secondary heating systems are well ventilated.
- Make sure there are working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home and outside each bedroom. Should alarms sound, immediately leave the house and call 911 from outside or from a neighbor’s house.
Additional safety tips can be found at mass.gov, cdc.gov, or nfpa.org.