TAVARES — Cold nights often mean busy times for fire departments.
As cold weather sweeps across Central Florida, the Lake County Department of Public Safety, Fire Rescue Division, is advising families to protect themselves from the cold by following these tips:
• Make sure all smoke detectors are in working order.
• Check fire extinguishers to make sure they are properly “charged” and in good working order.
• Keep flammable materials away from space heaters and fireplaces. Make sure fireplace flumes are clean and clear before using.
• Avoid using extension cords with any heating devices.
• Check carbon monoxide detectors. If nausea or flu type symptoms arise, shut off the fuel-burning heating source, open windows, and seek emergency medical attention.
• When going outdoors, wear layered clothing, gloves and a hat for protection from winter cold hazards.
• Watch for signs of hypothermia. The elderly and children are extremely vulnerable to cold weather. Because Florida is known for its warm temperatures, some think hypothermia risks are minimal. The irony is that most hypothermia casualties occur in warmer climates.
• Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat.
• Protect animals. Bring your pet indoors, out of the cold weather.