Islip, N.Y. – The Town of Islip’s Fire Marshal’s Office is asking residents to follow certain safety procedures related to the extreme cold temperatures that are affecting our area. Nightly temperatures have hovered in the single-digits, and the wind-chill has caused the outside air to feel like it’s well below zero degrees-Fahrenheit. Residents should be aware of several tips that will help their families safely endure the cold weather:
- Cold weather can cause a house’s pipes to freeze, creating a dangerous and costly situation for a family. To thaw a frozen pipe, residents can use a hair dryer (blowing the air across the pipe), wet rags that have been soaked in hot (but not boiling) water, or a heating pad that can be wrapped around the pipe. NEVER use a direct flame to thaw frozen pipes. If none of the above methods are effective, contact a licensed local plumber.
- Many homes use space heaters and fireplaces to warm their living areas during severe cold weather. Have a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters. Any flammable material should also be kept at least 3-feet away from the heat sources. Supervise children whenever a wood or oil stove or other space heater is being used. Use a sturdy metal screen to prevent contact burns, which are more common than flame burns. Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratory). NEVER use your oven or stove for heating.
- Perhaps most importantly, residents must ensure that vents for heating equipment are cleared of ice and snow to prevent the build-up of Carbon Monoxide (CO) in the dwelling. All homes should have CO alarms on every level of a home.
“We’re living through historic cold temperatures for our area, so it is important to maintain a level of safety as we try to cope with the weather,” said Councilman John Cochrane, Jr.
“Ignoring safety procedures can make a bad situation worse. During periods of extreme temperature we must exercise safe and sound judgment as we care for our families,” said Councilman Anthony Senft.