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Red Cross Urges Residents to be Safe Amid Cold Front

Red Cross Urges Residents to be Safe Amid Cold Front.
"Year after year, the Greater NY Red Cross sees a spike in fires during the coldest periods of the year."

With some of the coldest temperatures so far this winter upon us, the American Red Cross urges residents to be take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and their families safe. Along with health risks associated with the cold, these frigid temperatures can also increase the risk of home fires.

Year after year, the Greater NY Red Cross sees a spike in fires during the coldest periods of the year. This spike can sometimes be attributed to unsafe home heating methods.

Since yesterday alone, the Greater NY Red Cross has assisted nearly 80 New Yorkers following 16 local emergencies in New York City, Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley. At each incident, the Red Cross is there to provide emergency assistance in the form of health and emotional support, blankets, temporary housing, food, clothing and more. Given this increase in demand for Red Cross services, our teams remain mobilized to assist as needed.

HOME HEATING SAFETY. Please see the following home heating safety tips below:

  • Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves or fireplaces.
  • Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.
  • If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
  • Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  • COLD WEATHER SAFETY. People should consider the following:

  • Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.
  • When shoveling snow, take frequent breaks to avoid risk of injury or cardiac arrest.
  • Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.
  • Bring pets inside during winter weather.
  • Make sure coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and warm clothing are available for all household members, along with extra blankets.
  • Eat regular meals and stay hydrated, but avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
  • We also encourage all residents to download our free Red Cross First Aid App (available at the Apple /Android store) which includes a variety of useful preparedness info.

    For more information on emergency preparedness, visit

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNY.