Temperatures have hit the low digits, and it's important to keep our homes, cars, pets and ourselves safe! Here are some helpful tips to stay safe and warm this week.
Winter Weather Driving Tips from AAA:
If you notice your battery is slow to turn when you try to start it up, get it checked.
Park in a garage, if possible, to keep the battery warmer.
- Drive your car regularly, even if it’s just for a bit, so the battery gets some use, unless it’s not safe to drive.
- Check the tire pressure before driving and fill with air if needed. As the average temperature drops, so will tire pressures – typically by one PSI for every 10 degrees.
- Check the coolant level in the overflow tank when the engine is cold. If the level is low, add a 50/50 solution of coolant and water to maintain the necessary antifreeze capability.
- Dress warmly and carry extra clothes, including an extra hat, gloves, socks and blanket.
- Make sure your emergency road kit includes a shovel, water, snacks and a car charger.
- Keep your gas tank full.
- When you are going for a drive, let someone else know where you are headed and keep in touch. Don’t travel alone unless you have to.
Tips to Avoid Frozen Pipes from the American Red Cross:
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from faucets served by exposed pipes.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
- If your pipes do freeze, here’s what you can do to thaw them:
- Keep your faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch,
kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open-flame device. Apply heat until full water pressure is restored.
- If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
Tips to Protect Our Pets from the ASPCA:
- If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside.
- Don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather. Cars hold in the cold and can cause animals to freeze to death.
- When walking your dog, bring a towel to clean off their paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals – and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes. Massaging petroleum
jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and
- Don’t shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is short-haired, consider dressing it in a coat or sweater.
- Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin.
- Be sure to clean up any leaked antifreeze from your vehicle. It is lethal for dogs and cats.
- Feed your pet a little bit more during the winter months.
Tips to Protect Ourselves:
- Wear mittens when possible because your fingers can share warmth (regular gloves are good, but mittens have the edge). Wear socks that will keep your feet dry and warm. Some people wear a light liner sock made of a material that
wicks away moisture next to the foot and then put a natural fiber sock over it. Try to wear the higher cut socks, not the low risers.
- Use lip balm to keep your lips from drying out from the cold and windy weather.
- As long as fluids are not restricted by your physician, drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.
- Wear outer clothing that shields the wind and sun from your skin. Cold and windy air causes a wind-chill effect that is much colder and more dangerous than the outside air temperature.
- When traveling by car, keep extra socks, blankets, water and snacks on hand in case a mechanical problem, storm or empty gas tank leaves you stranded.
- Instruct your kids to come inside when they feel cold, or if their clothes get wet
Stay warm out there folks! Though it doesn't seem like it now, spring will be here before we know it.
Thinking about buying or selling when the weather gets warmer? Make sure to reach out to your friends at 716 Realty Group.
147 Delaware Street | Tonawanda, NY 14150 | 716-362-2373