Cold Weather

Stay Safe During Cold and Winter Weather!

PROTECT THE 4 P’S

It is important to remember to protect the 4 Ps (People, Pets, Pipes, and Plants) during cold temperatures.4 Ps

  • People should dress warmly, in layers, to avoid hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature).
  • Pets should be brought indoors or provided with a warm place to sleep.
  • Pipes that run outside or under a house should be wrapped in pipe insulation to avoid cracks due to water freezing in them. Learn more here.
  • Plants may need to be covered or brought inside to avoid frost damage.

DRIVING CONDITIONS

As with any type of precipitation, such as rain, sleet, or snow, residents who are driving vehicles should take steps to protect themselves, including:

  • Stay off the roads as much as possible and avoid unnecessary travel. 
  • Give themselves extra stopping distance. Wet conditions means it takes longer for vehicles to come to a complete stop.
  • Ensure windshield wipers are in good working condition before heading out on the road. When conditions are wet or dark, be sure to use headlights.
  • Highway overpasses and bridges pose the highest risk of icing, take extra precautions when driving over them.
  • Slow down. Rain, sleet, and snow can limit visibility, giving drivers less time to recognize danger.
  • Slowing down gives extra time to adjust to changing conditions.

SAFELY USE SPACE HEATERS

As temperatures drop, residents may use portable space heaters to keep warm. The La Porte Fire Department reminds residents of the following safety tips:

  •  Make sure you have a working smoke alarm. Never leave children unattended in a room with a space heater.
  • Children knock over space heaters especially if they are placed on top of wobbly tables or stools and near where the children play.
  • Children may also stick paper or toys in the grates of the space heaters especially gas space heaters. 
  • Keep all combustible materials, including yourself at least 3 feet from the heater. Space heaters should have a screen. Ensure you have ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. 

ELECTRIC HEATERS TIPS

  • Never overload outlets or breakers. Don’t use extension cords for a heater. If the cord is hot to the touch, turn off the heater and unplug it!
  • Electric heaters permanently installed in the wall or ceiling should have lint and dust removed regularly.
  • Lint and dust will burn!

IRRIGATION SYSTEMS

  • How to Winterize Sprinkler System
    • Shut off the water supply to the irrigation system. The main shut off valve for your irrigation system needs to be protected against freezing. Make sure it is wrapped with insulation (foam insulation tape and a plastic bag) to protect it from harsh winter temperatures and prevent it from freezing.
  • Stay In Control 
    • If you have an automatic system then you will need to "shut down" the controller (timer). Most controllers have a "rain-mode" which simply shuts off the signals to the valves.
  • Drain the Pipes
    • Remove the water from the pipes and sprinklers so that it won't freeze/expand and break the pipe.
  • Protect Valves and Backflow Preventers
    • Insulate backflow preventers and valves if they are above ground. You can also use insulation tape for this. Be sure not to block the air vents and drain outlets on backflow preventers.

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Learn more about Cold Weather from the National Weather Service.