Editorial: Be smart when it’s bitterly cold

Published 9:53 am Monday, January 6, 2014

Today, in the middle of our deep freeze, the coldest day in decades, we step aside from our usual political comments that occupy this space and, instead, share these tips for dealing with bitter-cold weather from the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, Freeborn County Emergency Management and the Freeborn County Department of Public Health:

• Use fireplace, wood stoves or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak flue gas into the indoor air space.

• Never use a charcoal or gas grill indoors — the fumes are deadly.

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• Never leave open flames unattended.

• Keep as much heat as possible inside your home.

• Check the temperature in your home often during severely cold weather.

• Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.

• Eat well-balanced meals to help you stay warmer.

• Check on family members and elderly neighbors for their safety.

• Bring pets indoors.

• Serious health problems can result from prolonged exposure to the cold. The most common cold-related problems are hypothermia and frostbite.

For additional information on cold weather preparedness contact Freeborn County Emergency Management at 507-377-5221. Also check the Freeborn County website www.co.freeborn.mn.us or the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page for updated information.