In the United States there are more than 600 weather-related deaths that occur each year, with 25 percent due to temperature extremes (hypothermia). There is an average of 11,500 injuries requiring medical treatment that occur each year from shoveling – more than half from exertion, 20 percent from falls and nearly 7 percent from cardiac problems. Inside the home, 50 percent of home heating fires are reported in December, January and February.
Follow these tips to stay safe in severe cold weather:
• Dress warmly in layers when going outside.
• Remember that your extremities, such as the nose, ears, hands and feet, need extra attention.
• Pace yourself when shoveling snow, and stretch to warm up before you begin.
• Shovel when the snow is freshly fallen – push it as much as possible, rather than lifting.
• Keep all flammable materials away from heat sources, including space heaters.
• Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually- very important!
• Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly.
• Keep a survival kit in your vehicle, including a first aid kit, ice scraper and a warm blanket.