ALBANY, N.Y. - The American Red Cross offers some advice on how to keep you and your pets safe during cold weather.
- Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.
- 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.
- Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
- If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Download the FOX 44 and ABC 22 mobile app for the latest weather information. Download for Apple devices here: http://bit.ly/14Gd4dL and Android devices here: http://bit.ly/11u80cI.
- Bring your pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water.
- If your pets can’t come indoors, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free enclosure large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in the pet’s body heat. Raise the floor a few inches from the ground and cover it with cedar shavings or straw. Turn the enclosure away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
- Salt and other things used to melt snow and ice can irritate your pet’s paws and mouth. Wipe your pet’s paws with a damp towel when they come inside.
- Chemicals like antifreeze are poison to your pets. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach.
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