The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Office of Emergency Management is urging Forsyth County residents to be prepared for the extremely cold temperatures and wind chills forecasted for Monday night and Tuesday.
Low temperatures and winds may result in frost bite and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken. If you must venture outdoors tonight and Tuesday, make sure to wear several layers of clothing in addition to a hat and gloves. Animals are susceptible to extreme temperatures and winds, as well. Be sure to bring your pets inside for the duration of this weather event.
An estimated 900 portable heater fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause 70 deaths, 150 injuries and $53 million in property loss.
Only 2 percent of heating fires in homes involve portable heaters, however, portable heaters are involved in 45 percent of all fatal home heating fires.
- Portable heater fires in homes peak in January (26 percent).
- 52 percent of home portable heater fires occur because they are too close to items that can burn.
- 38 percent of home portable heater fires originate in bedrooms. In these fires, bedding, such as blankets, sheets and comforters, is the leading item first ignited by portable heaters at 25 percent.
Other cold weather safety tips:
- Use a 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.
- Keep an emergency supply kit available in case of power outages.
- Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
- Eat well-balanced meals to help you stay warmer.
The Office of Emergency Management is concerned for you and your family’s safety in the occurrence of any hazardous event. It is your responsibility to prepare yourself and your family for any hazard that may strike. For emergency prep information, visit HERE and ‘like’ ReadyFORSYTH on Facebook HERE.
FEMA Portable Heater Safety Video: