(PITTSBURGH) Jan. 22, 2013 With the coldest air of the season poised to arrive this evening through Wednesday, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today outlined top safety tips for residents and seniors. The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory through Wednesday as wind chills are expected to reach as low as -12 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Extreme cold can have a serious impact on our residents and their homes," Ravenstahl said. “I urge all residents to follow these safety tips, stay indoors as much as possible and check on their elderly loved ones and neighbors.”
According to weather experts, if the temperature remains below 12 degrees Fahrenheit for 48 hours or longer, significant troubles may occur, such as increased fire risk due to improper use of space heaters, and water pipe bursts.
- Stay indoors as much as possible, as the added factor of wind chill can cause your body temperature to drop quicker than normal.
- If you must go out, dress warmly, always tell someone your plans and watch for signs of hypothermia, including uncontrollable shivering and disorientation.
- While inside, conserve as much heat as possible by closing off unused rooms and using towels to cover cracks under doors.
- To prevent frozen or burst pipes in your house, leave your taps open slightly so they continuously drip and take steps to ensure circulation of heated air around the pipes, like opening the cabinet doors by your kitchen and bathroom sinks.
- If you’re going to be gone during a cold weather spell, be sure to leave your heat on at least 55ºF.
- When using a space heater, place it on a hard, level surface at least three feet away from any rugs and bedding. If possible, buy a heater with a guard around the heating element for further protection.
- To prepare your car, make sure your tire pressure and antifreeze are at the correct levels. You can check both of these yourself with home testers. Also be sure to updgrade your windshield wiper fluid to a winter time mix.
- Find specific information related to wind chills and greater preparedness in all winter weather here. Visit the City's Emergency Management homepage for more safety tips.