Stay safe during winter cold snaps

The American Press

A cold front is expected to creep through Southwest Louisiana later this week, and it’s important to remember to be extra cautious during these cold snaps.

The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes offers these tips to keep families safe and warm when the freezing temperatures arrive:

Home

For a relatively low price, homeowners can stop pipes from freezing during winter cold spells. Insulate pipes exposed to the elements or cold drafts with insulating foam. For as little as $1 per six feet of insulation, you can stop pipes from freezing and save energy. Place an insulating dome or other covering on outdoor faucets and spigots to reduce the likelihood of the water in your pipes freezing, expanding, and causing a costly leak.

Drip faucets to reduce the build-up of pressure in the pipes. Even if the pipes freeze, you have released the pressure from the water system reducing the likelihood of a rupture.

Check for air leaks around windows and doors using a lit incense stick. If the smoke is sucked out of an opening, seal the leak with caulk, spray foam or weather stripping.

Family

Keep a supply of flashlights, batteries and a battery-powered radio on hand just in case the power goes out.

Volunteer to check on elderly neighbors, friends or relatives who may need assistance.

Wear layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.

If you are using a gas heater or fireplace to stay warm, be sure the area is properly ventilated.

Pets

Humans aren’t the only ones affected by harsh weather. When extremely cold temperatures hit, bring pets or your companion animals inside, if possible.

Make sure your pets have enough water and feed them a little more because colder weather requires more calories in the morning.

Before you drive off, bang your car hood in case some cats crawled in the engine block where it’s warm.

Plants

FLASH recommends covering your susceptible plants with a breathable sheet. If the frost has already damaged part of your plants, don’t start trimming back the leaves just yet. Once nighttime temperatures are consistently above 45 degrees, it’s OK to start trimming the damaged parts of your plants.””Cold Snap Safety graphic

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