Friendly reminders to stay safe this winter

MGN Online

For the New Year, Minneapolis City officials want everyone to resolve to be ready for extreme cold temperatures. In dangerous cold, frostbite can happen in just minutes. And everyone should remember: if it’s too cold for them, it’s probably too cold for their pets.

Tips for extremely cold weather

  • Stay inside as much as possible and limit time spent in the cold.
  • Dress in layers and keep clothes and footwear dry.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance.
  • Know the symptoms of cold-related health issues such as frostbite and hypothermia, and seek medical attention if health conditions are severe.
  • Make sure your vehicle has an emergency kit that includes an ice scraper, a blanket, jumper cables, flares or reflective material, a car cellphone charger and flashlight, and keep the fuel tank above half full.

Stay safe while staying warm

The Fire Department wants people to stay safe as they stay warm and follow these tips:

  • Always turn space heaters off when no one is around and before going to sleep.
  • Keep space heaters 3 feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Never use a stove for heating the home.
  • Once a year, furnaces and fireplaces need to be inspected by a licensed and bonded inspector.
  • Everyone should make sure to have working smoke alarms on every floor of their homes and carbon monoxide detectors within 10 feet of each sleeping quarter.

Don’t forget about your pets

Minneapolis Animal Care and Control reminds residents that their pets feel the cold, too. 

  • Keep pets in proper shelter and out of direct exposure to the elements.
  • Never leave pets unattended in a parked car for any amount of time.
  • Like people, cats and dogs can get frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Leaving pets outside in the cold can result in citations of $500 or more, seizure of the animal, or the death of the animal from the cold.
  • Anyone who sees an animal outside without shelter or in an unattended car can call Minneapolis Animal Care & Control immediately– in Minneapolis, that’s 311 (612-673-3000). If they believe the situation to be life-threatening and the animal is unresponsive, they should call 911.

More information and tips on being ready for winter weather and extreme cold temperatures can be found on the Health Department’s webpages and www.ready.gov/winter.

—Information provided by the City of Minneapolis