The past week the Antelope Valley has been experiencing freezing temperatures. This is the first cold spell for the winter, but more than likely, it will not be the last. Below are some safety tips for dealing with the freezing weather.
- Any items which are flammable (clothes, furniture, paper, etc.) should be kept three feet away from any heat sources (stoves, furnaces, water/space heaters, etc.).
- Furnaces which have not been used for several months collect dust on the heating elements. When using the furnace for the first time this season you may experience a burning smell, or possibly a very light haze or white smoke. This is very common due to the dust residue burning off the heating elements. However, if the smoke is dark grey or black or the furnace makes a rumbling noise, leave the house immediately and dial 911 from a safe location.
- If you have a fireplace make sure the damper is open and the chimney flue is clear. This allows smoke and gases to escape properly. Do not use solid fuels in fireplaces designed for natural gas only.
- You may experience frozen water pipes. If so, do not use a torch or any type of flame to heat the pipe. The sudden temperature change may cause the pipe to expand quickly and explode.
- Barbeques or generators should not be used indoors as a heating device. These heating devices produce lethal amounts of carbon monoxide, which is an odorless, colorless, and highly poisonous gas.
- If you need to warm your vehicle, remove the vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it. Never leave your vehicle running in a garage, even if the garage door is open. Even with the garage door open, lethal levels of carbon monoxide from the exhaust pipe can seep into the home.
- Black ice is invisible and is extremely dangerous! Watch the roadways, especially at night and in the early mornings. Remember, bridges and underpasses freeze faster than regular road surfaces. Always drive with caution. If you were to lose control on black ice, take your foot of the gas pedal.
- Deputy Jodi Wolfe