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Get Prepared for Winter Weather!

December 3, 2015

Deck the Halls: Fire Safe Edition

water your Christmas tree everyday

Holiday decorations may be visually appealing, but they also increase your risk for a home fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical problems cause 38 percent of home Christmas tree fires.

 

As you deck the halls of your home this season, follow these tips from NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) to prevent serious electrical and fire hazards: 

  • Check light sets for frayed or damaged wiring before using;
  • Connect no more than three mini light sets for decorating;
  • Keep your tree at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles or heat vents;
  • If you have a live tree, remember to add water to the tree stand daily; and
  • Always turn off holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.

Give the gift of safety this season. For more holiday safety tips, download and share USFAs Put a Freeze on Winter Holiday Fires infographic with family and friends.

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A Winter Ready Home

snow covered home

You might wear gloves and a hat to protect yourself from cold temperatures outside, but did you know that your home needs protection, too?
 

With the proper maintenance, you can prepare your home for the winter season and reduce heat loss during a power outage.

Follow these tips from Americas PrepareAthon!, including:

  • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of your roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow or ice;
  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspaper and plastic;
  • Allow faucets to drip during cold weather to avoid freezing; and
  • Have a professional inspect your chimney or heating equipment.

For added warmth, you may choose to use indoor space heaters. If you purchase a space heater, look for one that has an automatic shut-off or tip-over switch. Place the heater on a level surface away from high-traffic areas and flammable items such as curtains, bedding, or furniture. Make sure the room has enough ventilation to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Winter Care for Pets

Winter weather can be dangerous not only for humans, but for pets too! Taking extra precautions throughout the season can ensure your pets stay healthy and happy. The Humane Society of the Unites States offers tips to keep pets safe, including:

  • Protect paws from salt. This and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pets feet. Be sure to wipe off their paws with a damp towel;
  • Keep pets warm and indoors. No matter the temperature, windchill can threaten a pets life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite when outdoors during extreme cold snaps; and
  • Avoid antifreeze poisoning. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that may attract animals but is a deadly poison. Dont allow pets to wander unattended near driveways, garages or other places when they may come into contact with antifreeze.

It only takes a few tablespoons of highly toxic antifreeze to injure your pet. Learn the signs of antifreeze poisoning.

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Reminder: Preparing for a Winter Storm and the Holidays Webinar

Are you prepared for the holidays? The Federal Emergency Management Agency is pleased to invite you to join a webinar on how to prepare for winter weather and discuss holiday preparedness safety tips. 

Title: Tis the Season: Preparing for a Winter Storm and the Holidays

Date: Thursday, December 10, 2015

Time:  2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (ET)

Speakers:                                                  

  • Matthew Lyttle, from the FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division, will discuss Americas PrepareAthon! and ways to prepare for a winter storm.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service will present on the winter seasonal outlook, El Nio, Winter Weather Safety Campaign and driving safety.
  • Judy Comoletti, from the National Fire Protection Association, will present on holiday safety and the risk of Christmas tree and cooking fires.
  • Sandy Facinoli, from the FEMA U.S. Fire Administration, will present on holiday safety, the risk of electrical and candle fires, the danger of New Years fireworks and heating safety.

How to Join the Webinar:

We hope that you will be able to join us on December 10!

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Dates for Your Calendar!

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Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events, entities, organizations, services or products. Please let us know about other events and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included in future newsletters by contacting citizencorps@fema.dhs.gov.


This email was sent to using GovDelivery, on behalf of FEMA · U.S. Department of Homeland Security · Washington, DC 20472 Powered by GovDelivery

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