Remember the four “Ps” of winter weather safety

Take care of people, pets, plants and pipes when freezing temps are forecast

The weather forecast predicts below freezing temperatures on New Year’s weekend. The City office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management reminds residents to follow the four “P’s” of winter weather safety:

  • PEOPLE: Keep your family warm and check on any elderly family or neighbors that may need extra blankets, winterizing their homes or a warm place to stay.
  • PETS:  Dogs and cats get cold too. Bring them inside at night to keep them healthy and safe.
  • PLANTS:  Either cover plants to keep them warm at night or bring them inside so they can flourish.
  • PIPES:  Cover exposed pipes to prevent freezing and breaks.

City crews are prepared to deal with icy roads. Residents should report power outages to Oncor.

The American Red Cross offers 10 steps people can take to stay safe during the cold weather.

1. Layer up! Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.

2. Don’t forget your furry friends. Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

3. Remember the three feet rule. 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.

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

5. Don’t catch fire! If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

6. Protect your pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.

7. Better safe than sorry. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.

8. The kitchen is for cooking. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.

9. Use generators outside. Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.

10. Knowledge is power. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

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