SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO AM) - The first deep freeze of the season is upon us. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be as low as 30 degrees below zero. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue has the following safety tips for the citizens of Sioux Falls:
- Do not go outside if you do not have to. If you do need to go out, limit your exposure and know your limitations. Dress in several layers and wear a waterproof and/or windproof outer layer. Mittens will keep your hands warmer than gloves.
- Fingertips, earlobes, and noses tend to be highly susceptible to frostbite. Keep these areas covered while out in the cold weather. The body loses approximately 40 percent of its heat through the head. Wearing a hat will help conserve body heat.
- Frostbite is a serious condition caused by exposure to the cold and wind. If left untreated, this may result in the actual freezing of an extremity, nose, ears, fingers, and toes. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REWARM A FROSTBITTEN EXTREMITY BY RUBBING IT. Rewarming must be done gradually and may need to be done in an emergency department.
- The very young and elderly tend to be prone to cold related injuries. It is important to monitor children and to regularly check on elderly relatives or neighbors.
- If you anticipate being out in the elements for an extended period of time, do not smoke or drink alcohol. These items cause changes in the circulatory system, making the body even colder. They may make you feel warm, but your body will actually get colder faster.
- Make sure that electric heaters and blankets are U.L. rated, and kept away from any combustible materials such as paper, draperies, and linens. Unplug electric blankets and portable electric heaters when not in use.
- Travelers should have a survival kit including a first-aid kit, shovel, nonperishable food, extra clothing, sleeping bag, flashlight, booster cables, and a fully charged cell phone.
- Make sure you have a working smoke detector in every bedroom and on every level of your home. Check and change the batteries often.