Cold Weather Tips

The National Weather Service is forecasting bitter cold temperatures Wednesday through at least New Year’s Day, including dangerously cold wind chill values. Presently, the immediate forecast is for temperatures to fall to -6 degrees tonight into Wednesday and plummet to -21 degrees with wind chills on Wednesday night into Thursday. The Brattleboro Fire Department would like to remind you of some cold weather tips as we move into the first cold snap of this winter;

Prepare your home:

Make sure you have a working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. They provide early warning and save lives.
Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
Know how to shut off water valves in case a pipe freezes and bursts.

Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.

Heating Safety

Heating appliances will run much more than normal in extreme cold. Ensure that they are clean and in good working order and all vent pipes are free of any obstructions.

Avoid using space heaters. If you must use them keep safety in mind; Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Remember to keep all heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
Any fuel burning heater MUST be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.

Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a costlier repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.

Protect your pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.

If your pipes freeze, do not use a torch to thaw them is this may ignite wood or flammables around the pipe. Your best and safest solution is to call a plumber. If you need to do the work yourself use a space heater or hair dryer.

Some final tips; You are very susceptible to frost bite at these temperatures. Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm and cover as much exposed skin as you can. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat. Bring pets indoors, they can get frost bite also! And last, check on your neighbors, especially the elderly and less fortunate. Spending a few extra minutes to make sure everyone is ok will help to avert a tragedy.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Brattleboro Fire Department at 254-4831 with any questions or concerns.


Contact: Michael Bucossi
Brattleboro Fire Chief

Comments | 1

  • NWS forecast agrees!

    “Wednesday Night

    Mostly clear, with a low around -6. Wind chill values as low as -21. West wind around 9 mph”

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