HOUSTON - When winter weather strikes no matter where you are, there are four things that you need to consider and think about before the cold chill hits.
Those items are what’s known as the "Four P’s": Pipes, Plants, Pets, and People
PROTECTING YOUR PIPES
With winter weather, the risk of your pipes freezing can increase, so it’s always important to take preventative steps before freezing temperatures arrive.
Here are some tips:
- Be sure to disconnect any outdoor hoses, drain them and store them inside a protected area, such as a garage or indoors.
- Cover and/or wrap exposed faucets and pipes - including those outside the home or in unheated crawl spaces, such as attics, garages and other areas.
PROTECTING YOUR PLANTS
The winter weather can affect plants that are sensitive to colder temperatures, here are some tips you can use in protecting your plants:
- Bring potted plants inside or store in your garage near interior wall to provide extra warmth and protection from the wind.
- For cold-sensitive outdoor plants, put down extra mulch and consider covering with a cloth fabric of some kind to shield the plants from wind and frost.
PROTECTING YOUR PETS
Our pets are just as part of our family as people, and they need to be protected from the winter weather.
- Bring pets inside and move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas to provide extra protection from the cold weather
- Be sure to keep adequate food and water available for the animals
- If you must keep your pet outside, be sure to provide some type of shelter (such as a dog house) and provide a heat source to keep them dry and warm until the freezing temperatures have passed.
Make sure you keep your loved ones safe, by securing everyone inside a building or structure with adequate heating through the duration of the winter weather event.
- If you must use a portable space heater to warm your home, be sure to follow all the recommended safety information provided with the unit. Improper use of portable space heaters can lead to fire, serious injury and death. Keep heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn, including furniture, carpets, curtains, and people. Place heaters on solid, non-flammable surfaces. Never block exits with a heater and keep them out of the way of foot traffic. Keep children away from heaters. Always plug heaters directly into wall outlets Never use an extension cord. Turn off and unplug space heaters when leaving a room or going to bed.
- Keep heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn, including furniture, carpets, curtains, and people.
- Place heaters on solid, non-flammable surfaces.
- Never block exits with a heater and keep them out of the way of foot traffic.
- Keep children away from heaters.
- Always plug heaters directly into wall outlets
- Never use an extension cord.
- Turn off and unplug space heaters when leaving a room or going to bed.
- If you are planning to use your fireplace, be sure to monitor the fireplace as needed and install battery-operated carbon monoxide (CO) detectors into your home. If you have already installed a CO device, be sure that the batteries have been changed.
- Do not use generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices indoors due to the fumes they can leave behind, which can cause deadly consequences.
- Avoid staying outdoors in freezing temperatures for long periods of time. If you must go outdoors, dress warmly - wear multiple layers of clothing, a coat, gloves, pants, ear muffs, and a hat. Keep as much of your skin covered as possible.
- Beware of the wind chill: Just because the temperature outside may be one temperature. If the wind is blowing outside, that will decrease the ‘feels like’ temperature even more.
- Avoid overexertion as the cold weather puts added strain on your body.
There are other things that you can consider as well as the winter weather approaches your area, like preparing your vehicle. Be sure to check your battery, check your fluids (coolant, wiper fluid, oil, etc.), check your tires, have jumper cables, and pack a blanket.
The very last thing you should have is the FOX 26 Weather App on your mobile device. The app provides alerts down to the location you live and will notify you when and if winter weather will approach your area. You can download the app for free by clicking here.