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How to handle the week's bitter cold

Monday, January 4, 2010 | 5:59 p.m. CST; updated 11:59 a.m. CST, Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bitterly cold weather calls for attention to details. As the low temperatures continue, Columbians are providing safety tips for dealing with the cold. A release from the Boone County Fire Protection District warned that incorrect use of space heaters can be dangerous.

  • Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.

Another release listed the proper precautions for going onto ice:

  • No ice is safe
  • Four to six inches of ice is required for safe ice fishing.
  • Eight to ten inches of ice is generally safe for Snowmobiles and ATV’s.
  • River ice is weaker than lake and pond ice.

Connie Kacprowicz, spokeswoman for Columbia Water and Light, said that 10 water meters needed to be replaced because of freezing over the weekend.

  • If your kitchen pipes are prone to freezing, open up your cabinet doors to allow the warm air to better access them.
  • Always be ready for a power outage. The American Red Cross Web site has information for being prepared for power outages.

A mechanic at Schilby’s Tires and Wheels Inc. warned:

  • Check your tire pressure. Low tire pressure is a common problem in the bitter cold and has a relatively easy fix.
  • Make sure your car has enough antifreeze for the temperature. Your car may have enough for temperatures in the 20s, but that is not enough when it gets down to single digits.
  • The cold makes things more brittle. The mechanic said Schilby’s saw a lot of broken door handles on Monday.

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