A Cold Snap has Entered the Sacramento Valley

A cold snap has entered the Sacramento Valley.  Low snow levels and a hard-freeze watch are in effect through Saturday morning. The West Sacramento Fire Department would like to remind residents of steps they can take to protect their homes and loved ones this winter:

PEOPLE

  • Keep warm, stay inside if possible.
  • If you need to go out, dress in layers and wear hats, gloves and an appropriate coat.
  • Prepare your auto for cold weather. Keep extra blankets, food and water in your vehicle.
  • Gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness or waxy skin are symptoms of frostbite. Confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and shivering are signs of hypothermia. Both conditions require immediate medical attention.
  • Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector.  Do not bring heating devices in doors that are intended for outdoor use, such as barbecues or other fuel-burning devices.
  • Observe heater safety: never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water; keep heat sources at least 3 feet away from furniture and drapes; never leave children unattended near a space heater.

ANIMALS

  • Bring their  animals indoors or make sure they have shelter with warm blankets to shield them from the cold. Pets need a place to sleep that is off the floor or ground and away from drafts. Animals with illnesses as well as the very young, (puppies, kittens, etc.) do not tolerate the cold well.
  • Cats can freeze outside and should be kept indoors.

PIPES

  • Cover exposed pipes with insulation or towels to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
  • Drain pipes or leave a tap dripping in the fixture farthest from the water heater, which allows water to run through the pipes during the night. Water pipes in attics may also need to be insulated.
  • In-ground sprinkler system should drain the system. Insulate all above-ground piping and valves.
  • If your water pipe has frozen, be patient. There is no quick remedy. Pipes will need to gradually warm up. Use a hair dryer on the frozen section to begin the warming process. Wave the warm air back and forth on the pipe. Do not pour hot water over a frozen pipe, or use open-flame torches.
  • If there is a burst or water is leaking from plumbing, turn off the water at the main supply valve.

PLANTS

  • Protect outdoor plants by covering them with blankets or nylon frost cloths not with plastic.
  • Plants should be well-watered for protection because the water insulates the entire plant.
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