Winter Safety Tips
During Extreme Cold Weather | Extremely cold temperatures and wind chill are forecasted. Please use care:
- Minimize outside activities, particularly the elderly and very young. Also consider your pets.
- Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, rather than a single layer of heavy clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
- Wear a hat, mittens (rather than gloves) and sturdy waterproof boots, protecting your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
- If electricity is lost for an extended period of time, a snowbank in your yard can become a makeshift freezer for food.
- Excessive exposure can lead to frostbite, which is damaging to body tissue that is frozen. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and a pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, seek medical help immediately.
- Hypothermia can occur in extreme cases. The warning signs are uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If the person’s temperature drops below 95 degrees, seek immediate medical care.
- When utilizing alternate heating sources, such as your fireplace, wood stove or space heater, take the necessary safety precautions. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, ensuring everyone knows how to use it properly. Test smoke alarms.
- If you lose your heat, seal off unused rooms by stuffing towels in the cracks under the doors. At night, cover windows with extra blankets or sheets. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.
- To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of newspapers, covering the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture. Allow a trickle of warm water to run from a faucet that is farthest from your water meter or one that has frozen in the past. This will keep the water moving so that it cannot freeze. Learn how to shut off your water if a pipe bursts.
- If pipes freeze, remove insulation, completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes or wrap them with towels soaked in hot water, starting where they are most exposed to the cold. A hand-held hair dryer, used with caution, also works well.
- Be a good neighbor. Check with elderly or disabled relatives and neighbors to ensure their safety.
Roof Safety Tips | Click here for helpful information to keep your roof and storm drains safe!
- Preventing Potential Roof Collapses | With the significant amount of snowfall seen in Lynn, residents and property owners should be mindful of the potential risk of roof collapses.
While most commercial and residential roofs are designed to handle loads in excess of what currently exists on rooftops, the current snow pack and potential for additional precipitation does increase the risk of collapses or other structural damage to properties. While there have been few issues reported in Boston, there have been several reports of roof collapses across the Commonwealth.
Large, flat roofs are at greatest risk, especially those that are not properly draining. Property owners should be attentive to excessive snow accumulation, ice dams, and poor drainage on rooftops. For flat roofs with an existing ponding problem; a professional should be called to check the snow load and advise for the snow removal procedure if required. (Ponding is the collection of water which usually indicates a structural problem that can worsen with weight.)
Homeowners and building owners who have concerns about excessive loads and/or the structural integrity of a property, should contact a professional/licensed contractor for assistance. Removing snow from a rooftop can be extremely dangerous, so it is best to rely on professionals.
Snow Thrower Safety | Please be careful operating snow thrower machines. Find safety tips here: Snow Thrower Safety and here