We are just finishing up two day of brutal and record-breaking cold. It’s winter - what else is new in Winnetka and the North Shore of Chicago! Staying warm is a fine art but staying safe is an imperative. According to USA Today, the cold kills 20 times more people than the heat.
10 Weather Safety Tips
Layering with several lightweight layers will keep you warmer than just one heavy sweater. Gloves are essential - but never forget to cover your head. It's astonishing how warm you feel when your head is protected. Even inside.
Pets - I have one that loves being outside year round. But even a quick errand when wind chills are present can be devastating. Keep them inside or provide adequate shelter.
Have you heard of the 3-feet rule? Keep your space heater on a level, hard surface and remember to keep anything flammable like curtains, blankets, or clothing at least 3 feet away.
Extinguish fireplace embers and turn off space heaters before going to bed.
If you are using a wood-burning fireplace, use a metal or glass screen big enough to catch sparks or rolling logs.
Burst pipes can be extremely destructive. I have had friends and clients who had to move out of their homes for 18 months because of the massive cleanup and remodeling. Know how to protect them - they can freeze even in new construction homes! Several preventive steps are running the water at a trickle in faucets located near an exterior wall, opening cabinet doors around plumbing to allow the warmer air to circulate inside, and keeping your thermostat the same day and night.
Take your hands out of your pockets! Who will break your fall when you slip on the ice and can’t get your hands out in time.
Ovens and stoves certainly keep kitchens warm and toasty but don't try to use them to heat a room. I leave the oven door open after turning it off to provide more heat but never with it on.
Generators should always be used outside - never inside the home.
Make sure you hook your generator up directly to the equipment you want to power - don't hook it to the home's wiring.
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Margaret Goss is a full-time real estate agent since 1998 practicing in the North Shore communities of Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Glencoe, Northfield, Glenview, and Evanston.
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