Date Issued: October 27, 2020
The Westmont Fire Department would like to remind residents to be safe this winter and share some important safety tips. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is recommending people to start taking steps now to ensure they’re prepared to stay safe and warm throughout the winter months.
“With the cold weather approaching, the use of space heaters should be avoided,” said Westmont Deputy Fire Chief Kevin O’Hare. “The biggest threat associated with space heaters is fire. Additionally, please check in on friends and family that could use some extra attention to make sure they are staying warm in a safe manner.”
Each year space heaters are responsible for about 55,000 fires, 450 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries. There are a number of other ways that space heaters can lead to accidents and injuries. Space heaters use a lot of electricity, they can easily overload circuits causing a power failure or fire. Some parts of the heater can become extremely hot. Children and pets are especially vulnerable to getting burned. Some space heaters, especially taller ones can tip over easily, posing a fire hazard.
Driving on snow or ice-covered roads can be extremely hazardous. Before starting a trip when the weather is bad, be sure to check road conditions on the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Winter Road Conditions Map at www.getting around illinois.com.
Drivers should be sure to stock their vehicles with an emergency supply kit, in the event they are stranded on the roadside and need to wait for assistance. The emergency supply kit should include:
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Non-perishable snack food
- Sand or cat litter
- Booster cables
- Cell phone charger
Winter storms can also cause power outages that can last several hours or several days. It’s important to have an emergency supply kit at home that includes:
- Battery-powered National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio
- Water and non-perishable food
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit and supplies for pets and family members with special medical needs
More winter tips for staying safe at home and on the road are available in a guide developed by IEMA and the National Weather Service can be found on the Ready Illinois website.
For additional information regarding severe weather preparedness, contact the Westmont Fire Department at 630-981-6400.
Contact: Larry McIntyre
Village of Westmont
Communications Director/Public Information Officer