(MIAMI, Feb. 12, 2015) – A blast of cold air is on its way to South Florida as temperatures are expected to drop to the lower 50’s and even cooler for the weekend ahead. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) wants residents to brace themselves for the chill and follow these safety precautions:
- Protect people:
- Keep a close eye on children and the elderly since they are particularly vulnerable to the cold and the least able to protect themselves.
- Dress in layers of loose-fitting warm clothing. Wear hats, gloves, coat or a jacket if venturing outside.
- Avoid overexertion due to heavy activity outdoors in the cold, which puts additional strain to your body.
- Protect pets:
- Pets should remain inside. If you have any pets that must remain outdoors, place them in an enclosed shelter with the entrance facing away from the wind.
- Protect plants:
- Potted plants should be brought inside the home or stored in a garage for warmth and protection from the wind.
- For outdoor plants sensitive to the cold, place extra mulch and consider covering them with a cloth fabric to shield them from the wind.
- Keep outdoor plants and trees watered.
- Dry weather and wind create the perfect conditions for brush fires. If you live in or near heavily forested or undeveloped land, keep your property well-manicured and free of dry or dead vegetation.
- Protect the home:
- Careful when occupying heaters in the home. Consider using electric space heater that are UL approved and that include safety features such as an automatic shut-off when tipped over.
- Make sure all heating equipment is clean and dust-free.
- Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.
- Any heat source must be placed at least 3 feet away from furniture and curtains.
- Children should never be left unattended near a space heater.
- Have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home that are functioning. Replace the batteries if necessary.
- Always turn off heaters when leaving home.
Editor's note: MDFR personnel will be available to provide sound Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, please contact MDFR’s Public Affairs Bureau at 786-331-5200.