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Coldest air of season prompts safety alerts

January 6, 2014
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Temperatures are expected to dip below normal across Florida including the Cape Coral area, and as the big chill moves in Cape Coral firefighters offer safety tips people can take to stay safe during the cold snap:

1. When dealing with the wind chill expected this afternoon through tomorrow, wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm especially the very young and very old who are more susceptible to hypothermia. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat. Use lip balm to keep your lips from drying out from the cold and windy weather. As long as fluids are not restricted by your physician, drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.

2. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs. Remember that "space heaters need space" at least three feet of clearance in every direction.

3. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.

4. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.

5. If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

Following these tips can help make life safer year-round, not just during a cold snap:

Keep candles, matches, and lighters out of the reach of children.

Install at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home, including near sleeping areas.

Keep fire extinguishers in the kitchen, laundry room, and garage. An extinguisher with an ABC rating can fight fires caused by paper, wood, cloth, flammable liquids, and electrical short circuits.

Make a family plan for fire emergencies. Practice your escape plan.

Use your common sense. Identify potential danger spots in your home and take the proper precautions.

Source: Cape Coral Fire Department



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