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The original item was published from 2/3/2023 9:06:21 AM to 2/7/2023 12:00:00 AM.

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Fire Department

Posted on: February 3, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Maynard Fire Department offers Warming Center and Cold Blast Tips

Maynard Fire Department seal in color

Chief Anthony Stowers would like to provide cold weather safety tips ahead of what is forecast to be a dangerously cold weekend, and to announce that the Maynard Fire Department will open a warming center.

From Friday night into Saturday morning, an arctic blast is forecast to move through the northeast region of the U.S. with local temperatures predicted by the National Weather Service (NWS) to be in the single digits, with wind chills predicted to fall below -20°F.

As a precaution, the Maynard Fire Department will make the training room of the department’s new fire station at 30 Sudbury St., available to members of the community as a warming center. A water dispenser is available in the training center, but residents who visit the center should bring food and snacks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cold weather induced illnesses such as frostbite can occur even in temperatures above 40°F if a person becomes chilled by rain or sweat, or is submerged in cold water.

The Maynard Fire Department wishes to share the following tips from the CDC to help keep residents safe in cold weather situations and conditions:

When going outdoors, adults and children should wear:

  • A hat
  • Scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth
  • Long sleeves that are snug at the wrist
  • Mittens (they are warmer than gloves)
  • Water-resistant coat and boots

Residents are also reminded to layer their clothing strategically:

  • When choosing an inner layer, wear fabrics that will hold more body heat and fabrics that do not absorb moisture. Wool, silk, or polypropylene will hold more body heat than cotton.
  • Wear a layer of clothing for insulation. An insulation layer will help you retain heat by trapping air close to your body. Natural fibers, like wool, goose down, or a fleece work best.
  • Select your outer layer carefully. The outermost layer helps protect you from wind, rain, and snow. It should be tightly woven, and preferably water and wind resistant, to reduce loss of body heat.

Other tips

  • Try to stay dry while outdoors, as wet clothing chills the body quickly.
  • Excess sweating will cause the body to lose more heat, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm.
  • Avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin while deicing and fueling your car or using a snow blower. Getting these on your skin will cause your body to lose more heat.
  • Do not ignore shivering, as it’s an important first sign that your body is losing heat. Constant shivering is a sign that it is time to go inside.

For additional information from the CDC regarding cold weather safety, click here.

Space heaters

The Maynard Fire Department would also like to provide the following safety tips regarding space heaters from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services:

  • When buying a heater, look for one that has been tested and labeled by a nationally recognized testing company, such as Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL).
  • Keep the heater 3 feet away from drapes, furniture or other flammable materials.
  • Place the heater on a level surface away from areas where someone might bump into  it and knock it over.
  • Avoid using extension cords. If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is a heavy-duty cord marked with a power rating at least as high as that on the label of the heater itself.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended or running while you sleep. Supervise children and pets when a space heater is in use.
  • Keep electric heaters away from water. Never use them near a sink or in  the bathroom.

Take care of your pet

Pet owners are also reminded to take precautions during cold weather. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), cold tolerance varies from pet to pet, and owners should be aware of their pet’s tolerance and adjust their activities accordingly.

No pet should be left outside for long periods of time during below-freezing weather. Owners should check their dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. Following a walk, owners should also wipe down their pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove chemicals such as deicers or antifreeze.

It is also recommended that you check underneath your car, bang on the hood and honk the horn as a warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor or feral cats. For more tips regarding cold weather and animals, visit the AVMA.

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