Fred A. Mitchell Jr., Fire Chief
47 Central Street
Georgetown, MA 01833
For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 8, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Georgetown Fire Department Reminds Residents of Cold Weather Precautions
GEORGETOWN — In the wake of severe weather that has left many in the community without power, Chief Fred Mitchell and the Georgetown Fire Department wishes to remind residents to take precautions when using alternative sources of power and heat.
“While crews work to restore power throughout the town, we ask that residents exercise caution, especially when using generators,” Chief Mitchell said. “The most important thing to remember is that generators should never be operated indoors or in any kind of enclosed area.”
With this type of weather, frostbite and hypothermia are possible for those without proper protection from the cold. To stay safe, the Georgetown Fire Department asks that residents follow these tips from the MEMA:
- Minimize outdoor activities for the whole family, including pets.
- If outside, dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing instead of a single heavy layer. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens (not gloves) and sturdy waterproof boots to protect your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
- Be a good neighbor. Check with elderly or disabled relatives and neighbors to ensure their safety.
- When utilizing alternate heating sources, such as an emergency generator, your fireplace, wood stove, coal stove or space heater, make sure they are properly ventilated and always operate a generator outdoors and away from your home. Improper heating devices can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide buildup in the home.
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Locate the area of the water pipe that might be frozen. Likely places include pipes running against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water.
- Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame devices. A blowtorch can make water in a frozen pipe boil and cause the pipe to explode. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide.