Red Cross Issues Cold Weather Safety Tips

With freezing
temperatures, the
Red Cross has issued the following cold weather and heating safety tips:


When the weather is cold, the number of home fire incidents tend to rise. Use
caution when heating your home with space heaters, fireplaces and woodstoves.

Caution: Carbon Monoxide Kills

  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural
    gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or
    any partially enclosed area. 

Portable Space Heaters

  • Use portable space heaters with an automatic shut-off so if they’re tipped
    over they will shut off. 
  • Keep at least three feet of space between the heater and combustibles such as
    furniture, curtains, bedding and papers. 
  • Inspect heaters for cracked or damaged cords, broken plugs or loose
    connections. Replace before using the space heater. 
  • Turn heaters off when not in use, before going to bed or when leaving the

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Have chimney and woodstove flues and vents inspected and cleaned every year.
    Check for creosote deposits, soot build-up and physical damage. 
  • Always use a fireplace screen made of sturdy metal or heat-tempered glass to
    prevent sparks from escaping. 
  • Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable
  • Store kindling, fire logs and wood at least three feet from any heat source. 
  • Use proper fire starters, such as newspaper, kindling or specially
    manufactured starters designed for indoor use. Never use flammable liquid, such
    as lighter fluid, kerosene or gasoline to start a fire. 


  • Assemble disaster preparedness kits to keep at home, in your vehicle and at
    work. For a full list of recommended kit items, visit
  • In case of a power outage, make sure you have enough non-perishable food and
    water stored to last everyone in the household until power has been restored. A
    three-day supply of food and water for each person is recommended. 
  • Use battery-operated flashlights or lanterns instead of candles (because it
    could be a fire hazard) during a power outage. Do not leave burning candles
  • Have plenty of blankets and warm clothing available should you be without
    heat for an extended period of time due to a power outage. 
  • Make sure you have batteries in your radio (to receive information updates)
    and keep a spare battery for your cell phone handy (also keep your phone
  • Protect your pipes: Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent pipes from
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to
    maintain your footing in ice and snow. 
  • Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough
    shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to water that is not frozen.
    For more cold weather pet safety tips, view our blog


People can download the FREE Red Cross
Emergency App for instant access to winter storm tips and weather alerts for
their area and where loved-ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital
locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any
mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at

For information on road conditions from the Oregon Department of
Transportation, visit

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