Eric Smith, Fire Chief
8 School St.
Gloucester, MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Monday, Nov. 13, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Gloucester Fire Department Provides Tips for Staying Safe During Cold Weather
GLOUCESTER — With cold weather becoming the norm, Chief Eric Smith and the Gloucester Fire Department would like to provide the community with several important tips to stay safe and warm both outside and inside this winter.
The National Weather Service predicts temperatures for the Gloucester area to be in the 40s throughout the week, with temperatures dipping even lower at night.
The Gloucester Fire Department would like to advise residents to take precautions given the current winter-like temperatures.
“As the weather gets colder and heating season begins, residents should exercise caution and prepare themselves, as well as their homes and vehicles,” Chief Smith said. “Now is the time to check and clean chimneys and pellet stoves, and replace smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that homes remain safe during the winter.”
To stay safe, follow these tips from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency:
- Minimize outdoor activities for the whole family, including pets.
- If outside, dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing instead of a single heavy layer. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens (not gloves) and sturdy waterproof boots to protect your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
- Know the symptoms of and watch out for cold-related illnesses.
— Frostbite is the freezing of the skin and body tissue. Symptoms include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face and the tip of the nose. If someone is experiencing these symptoms, move them to a warm location, cover exposed skin, but do not rub the affected area. Seek medical attention immediately.
— Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature is abnormally low, and is life-threatening. Symptoms include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, memory loss and slurred speech. If someone is experiencing these symptoms, take their temperature. If it is below 95 degrees, seek medical attention immediately. Get the victim to a warm location. Warm the center of the body first by wrapping the person in blankets or putting on dry clothing. Give them warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the person is conscious.
- For your car, check your antifreeze, battery, defroster, windshield wipers, wiper fluid and other vehicle equipment to make sure they are ready for winter driving.
- Ensure you have sufficient heating fuel, as well as alternate emergency heating equipment in case you lose electricity. When utilizing alternate heating sources, such as an emergency generator, your fireplace, wood stove, or space heater, take necessary safety precautions:
— Keep a fire extinguisher handy and ensure everyone knows how to use it properly.
— Never heat your home with a gas stove or oven or charcoal barbecue grill.
— Make sure all heating devices are properly ventilated and always operate a generator outdoors and away from your home. Improper heating devices can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide buildup in the home.
— Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause flu-like illness or death. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911 immediately, get the victim to fresh air and open windows.