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Winter safety tips for heating, pets, frozen pipes

With the extreme cold warning being active for several days now, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services (EFRS) are encouraging people to keep fire safety a top priority during such extreme conditions.

In a release, EFRS wrote about the following tips:

Winter Fire Safety

  • Never have a running vehicle inside a garage.
  • Ensure that your intake and exhaust vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplaces are clear of snow and other debris.
  • Check block heaters and extension cords for fraying and cracking.

Home Heating Safety

  • Keep anything that burns at least one metre away from heating equipment such as space heaters, wood stoves, furnaces, or fireplaces.
  • Vent all fuel-burning equipment outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Never use your oven as a heat source.

Frozen Water Pipes

  • Never thaw frozen pipes with an open flame. The pipe can conduct the heat and ignite the wall.
  • Use hot water or a hand-held dryer for thawing.
  • If a water pipe bursts, call EPCOR’s Emergency Line at 780-412-4500
  • If flooding or an emergency happens, call 911.

Pets

  • Limit walks outside and be aware of signs your pet is getting cold.
  • While pets are outside, look for shivering, whining, or if they’re appearing anxious.
  • If you suspect your pet has frostbite, take them to their veterinarian.
  • If you see an animal without proper food, water, or shelter, call 311.
  • Call 911 if you see an animal that is in imminent danger or showing signs of serious distress.

To help vulnerable Edmontonians, the City has activated its extreme weather response, which includes additional bus routes to shelters. The city asks that people learn to recognize the signs of hypothermia, which include exhaustion, memory loss, slurred speech, and uncontrollable shivering.

If you see someone who may be in serious distress or an emergency, call 911. For non-emergency support regarding shelter, intoxication, or mental health, call 211 and press 3 for Crisis Diversion.

Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) is also stopping at all bus stops and picking up anyone to get them out of the cold.

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