With temperatures plummeting below freezing, there are several steps you and your loved ones can take to avoid winter-weather accidents.
Check out some of the safety tips below and learn more about effectuating a winter preparedness plan by visiting: www.readyvirginia.gov.
Extremely cold temperatures present several risks that drivers can address prior to ever leaving the driveway.
- According to AAA, tire inflation pressure decreases 1-2 psi for every 10 degrees of temperature change.
- At 32 degrees, a car battery can lose up to 35% of its power. Batteries that are more than three years old or that are on the verge of going dead often can’t be jump-started once they have been exposed to temperatures below zero for an extended period.
- Be sure to prepare your vehicle with emergency supplies such as flashlights, road flares, non-perishable food, and kitty-litter (for traction should your vehicle become stuck).
- Snow storms and related winter-weather often creates hazardous road conditions. For drivers who must travel, be sure to check ahead by visiting http://www.511virginia.org/.
During the winter months, home owners employ a variety of methods to keep their houses warm and secure. Some of these methods – such as space heaters, stoves, ovens, candles and kerosene or propane heaters – can prove to be dangerous. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 50,000 residential fires annually are caused by heating, resulting in about 150 deaths.
In addition to house fires, improper use of heating devices is also a common cause of carbon monoxide poisoning and deaths. Be sure to check batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors.
To keep cold weather from creeping in, home owners can winterize by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows.
It is no secret that cold temperatures cause many Virginians to come down with a variety of irksome symptoms, from coughing and sniffling to dangerous flu-like conditions. Before leaving your home, be sure to dress properly to keep warm and prevent unnecessary exposure to the elements. Keep in mind that in wind chills of 15 to 30 below, exposed skin can get frostbitten in minutes and hypothermia can quickly set in.