Cold weather tips - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Cold weather tips

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(01/22/13) - Mid-Michigan has not seen temperatures this cold in several years. Freezing weather like what we're seeing can be dangerous.

This blast of bitter cold can put a strain on Mid-Michigan residents, more used to 30s and 40s this time of year. While this drop in temperatures is creating some hardship, it's also creating business opportunities. When it comes to a choice between heat and safety, sometimes the choice isn't so clear.

Homeowners can be at risk by running their oven or stove, which can emit carbon monoxide, or even older style electric blankets hooked up to long extension cords, which could be worn or have exposed wires. This is especially true when it comes to portable heaters.

"Most of the older propane heaters don't have any kind of built-in safety features whatsoever. All they did is provide warmth. Modern heaters, they put in oxygen depletion sensors, carbon monoxide emissions are lower, tip over sensors, so if the heater tips over, it automatically shuts off," says Rocky's Great Outdoors manager Arthur Robbins.

These newer models also cost less to operate. Modern technology has spread to the ice, like a water-proof body suit which will float, if the person wearing it falls into the water. Other cold weather gear, such as coats and gloves have fabric that will keep you warm and remove moisture. For some businesses, like Rocky's, the surge in cold weather is creating a surge in sales. "Up until just recently, it was pretty well on par with last year. This nasty cold snap has really got us going here," Robbins said.

When the weather is this cold, don't forget about your pets. Paws and noses can get frostbite and water dishes easily freeze. You can also help our fine-feathered friends and some squirrels by keeping bird-feeders filled.

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