Cold weather safety tips

Cold weather safety tips

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Friday is expected to be the coldest day of winter so far. FOX 8 Chief Meteorologist David Bernard says temperatures staying the 40s to near 50 degrees all day long. He added Friday night looks to be quite cold with mid to upper 20s on the North Shore. South of the lake, readings will hover around 40 in the city to the lower and mid 30s away from the Lakes.

People in Orleans Parish are being urged to call the City's 311 system for emergency preparedness information and call 911 for life-threatening situations.
The City asks residents to check on elderly neighbors to make sure they're prepared for the cold and monitor candles and space heaters to avoid a fire. Pets should also be brought inside.

The New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) released the following winter safety tips to keep in mind:

•    Best level of protection install in every bedroom and every bedroom hallway on every floor.  
•    Minimum protection installs smoke alarms outside bedrooms and on every floor.
•    DO NOT install smoke alarms in the kitchen or bathroom.
•    Test the batteries monthly.
•    Keep smoke alarms away from air vents.
•    Place smoke alarms at least 4 to 6 inches away from walls and corners.

•    Use heaters only in well-ventilated rooms.
•    Place heaters where they will not be knocked over easily.
•    Do not use heaters to dry clothing or other items.
•    Keep heaters at a safe distance from curtains, furniture and all combustibles.
•    Don't leave children alone with space heaters on.  An adult should always be present when a space heater is in use.

•    Depletion of oxygen from the room resulting in death.
•    Clothing or close combustibles catching on fire when close to flames.
•    Air pollution such as carbon monoxide whenever fuel is incompletely burned.

•    Plug heaters directly into the wall socket, and not into extension cords.
•    Check the cords on electric heaters before using. If the cord is frayed or splitting, discard the heater.
•    Any repairs to heaters should be only be performed by a qualified licensed appliance repair person.
•    Keep anything that may burn at least 3 feet away from the heater.
•    Never allow children to play with, or around, the heater.
•    Never place anything inside the grill on the front of the heater.
•    Unplug heater when they're not being used.

•    Once a year, have your heating sources checked by a licensed mechanical contractor.
•     Floor furnaces should be cleaned and vacuumed prior to usage and should be checked for proper ventilation.
•    Make sure floor furnaces are clear of all coverings.
•    All gas heating sources should put out a clear blue flame. If you see a primarily orange or yellowish flame; have it checked by a professional.
•    All heating sources should be checked annually. 
•    All gas heating sources must also be properly ventilated. Keeping a window slightly opened can circulate fresh air and reduce carbon monoxide buildups in tightly sealed houses.
•    Never! Use a stove or oven to heat the home.  This causes a buildup of deadly carbon monoxide gas in the home.

•    Before you light candles put them in a non-tip candle holder.
•    Never burn candles near combustible decorations or displays.
•    Keep candles well away from curtains and other combustibles, and never put candles in windows or near exits.
•    Don't leave candles burning unattended or within the reach of small children.
•    Extinguish candles before you leave a room, go to bed, or leave home.

•    Uses only seasoned wood, never use green wood, plastic artificial logs, paper or trash.
•    Make sure the chimney flue is open before the fireplace is used.
•    Always use a protective screen.
•    Clean interiors, hearths and chimneys yearly.
•    Have your chimney inspected by a professional at least once a year and have it cleaned if necessary.
•    Remove ashes in a metal container.
•    Because they may rekindle, never store ashes in your home.

•    Generators should be used in well-ventilated locations outside away from all doors, windows and vent openings.
•    Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
•    Place generators so that exhaust fumes can't enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building. 
•    Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer's instructions for correct placement and mounting height. Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.
•    Store fuel for the generator in a container intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled as such. Store the containers outside of living areas.
•    When plugging in appliances, make sure they are plugged directly into the generator or a heavy duty outdoor-rated extension cord.
•    If you must connect the generator to the house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install a properly rated transfer switch in accordance with the National Electrical Code® (NEC) and all applicable state and local electrical codes.

•    Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors near bedroom areas and family rooms, for extra protection; place one about fifteen feet away from your home's heat source.
•    DO NOT install them near air vents or fans.
•    Test your CO Detector each week by pressing the test/silence button to make sure that the alarm sounds.
•    Keep your CO detectors dust free by vacuuming air vents regularly.

The City of New Orleans also reminds homeless residents to seek shelter since the weather predictions call for wind chill temperatures slightly above freezing.
•    The Salvation Army, 4530 South Claiborne Ave. – will accept males and females beginning at 4 p.m. 
•    Ozanam Inn, 843 Camp St. – will accept males only beginning at 4 p.m. 
•    Covenant House, 611 North Rampart St. – will accept males and females between the ages 16-21, their dependent children, and any female with dependent minor children. Mothers with small children may come anytime. 
•    New Orleans Mission, 1130 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. – will only accept male or female adults beginning at 4 p.m.

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