Baltimore County Now
Recommendations from the County Fire Marshall and Building Engineer…
- Avoid walking under awnings and other lightweight canopies.
- Make sure you are able to open your exterior doors in the event of an emergency. You may want to keep storm doors in the open position to avoid these outward swinging doors being blocked by deep snow. Try slightly opening your exterior doors to see that they operate easily.
- Watch for overhanging snow and ice that may become dislodged and fall suddenly.
- Avoid being under skylights where possible.
- Clear roof drainage areas of ice and snow to avoid back up of water into down spouts that could cause ice/snow damming of roofs and gutters.
- Maintain a path from the exterior exit doors so that you can move to a safe distance from your house in case of fire.
- Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide-detectors for proper operation.
- Check on elderly neighbors and relatives.
- If you have concerns about the safety of your home, then relocate to a safe structure. Plan ahead with a nearby neighbor to assist in relocating to another nearby home/building.
Important Tips from Safety Experts
This kind of cold weather is not just unpleasant, it can be dangerous. Baltimore County’s safety experts have some important tips for protecting your home and family.
DPW Says Let Faucets Drip
Baltimore County’s Department of Public Works advises homeowners to let water taps drip during this week’s extreme cold weather. During single-digit temperatures last year, more than 500 water meters froze. Maintaining the flow with a slow drip, say County engineers, will usually keep water in the pipes from freezing, and save homeowners considerable grief.
Last February Baltimore City (which maintains and repairs the metropolitan water system) was swamped with requests to thaw frozen meters. With the County's help, water service was quickly restored. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Power Outage Precautions
Power outages can go side-by-side with winter storms. Lights go out and some lose heat. When this happens some of us turn to generators to keep warm and informed.
Generators produce carbon monoxide, CO, a deadly gas. Keep your generator at least 15 feet from the house or building. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding use and review the Fire Department’s safety tips for portable generators.
For those who have gas stoves and ovens, never use an oven to heat your home!
Ice Can be Dicey
Cold weather along with snow and ice can be dangerous. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to problems in the winter.
Beware of “black ice” when you leave your home or work. What appears to be a wet surface can be very slick ice. Be cautious and take your time walking on this winter treat. This warning applies to driving too! Many accidents occur when black ice forms.
Ice melting products should be kept near the door along with your shovel. And beware of steps and handrails; they can be treacherous if not wiped down and salted.
Don’t Overdo with the Shoveling
Anyone who has heart disease or chronic lung disease should not shovel snow or scrap ice. Shoveling is hard on the heart muscles and can cause a cardiac event. Ask a friend, neighbor or relative, or hire someone to clear the sidewalk and driveway.
Stay Warm and Dry
When venturing out in the cold, wear a hat or scarf, warm gloves or mittens, and warm, dry socks inside your boots. Wear a heavy coat, jacket or dress in layers. If the wind is blowing then wear a scarf across your face. Wind burn is hard on the skin just like sun burn. Wear sunscreen in the winter.
And last but not least, remember your pets. They feel the cold as much as you do and rely on you to keep them safe and warm.
Public Safety Office of Media and Communications
Show Airs on BCTV - Cable Channel 25 and Online
The September edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” highlights Flu facts, homeless services and emergency preparedness.
Homeless Services – Hear about the County’s 10-Year Plan to Reduce and Prevent Homelessness.
Get the Flu FACTS – Baltimore County’s Director of Health and Human Services, Dr. Gregory Branch, tells why everyone should get the flu vaccine.
Be Prepared! – September is National Preparedness Month, and a great time to review your family’s emergency plan.
Watch "Hello Baltimore County" now.
In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25, in Baltimore County, at the following times:
- Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m.
- Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 9 p.m.
- Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.
- Thursdays: 1 p.m., 8 p.m.
- Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.
- Saturdays: 10 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.
- Sundays: 10 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.