Duluth Fire Department offers safety tips for dangerous cold weather ahead

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: February 04, 2021 06:16 PM
Created: February 04, 2021 04:25 PM

With expected wind chill values likely reach the -20 to -50 degree or even colder, the Duluth Fire Department says this is not something to take lightly and are reminding people to take preventative measures to stay safe during these dangerous cold conditions.

"As you're outside, just 10 to 15 minutes or five to 10 minutes, you can suffer frostbite injuries," said Duluth Fire Department Assistant Chief Clint Reff.

This includes our furry friends too. Keep the walks short and bring them inside.

This weather also poses even more of a risk for the homeless community in Duluth. CHUM has been encouraging people who are staying outside to come in and use the warming centers.

"Duluth does have a large homeless population. We're advising that people who are homeless seek shelter at the warming center at the Rainbow Center just to get out of this element that is going to last all weekend," said Reff.

Reff said unsafe heating methods are a major concern as well. Some people use their ovens which the department said is very dangerous and can cause a fire. Also, space heaters.

"We advise strongly that you don't use them but if you are going to use it, make sure you keep a barrier between the heater and any flammable objects," said Reff.

Reff also reminds people that if your furnace were to go out from the cold there is professional help out there ready to respond.

"Fortunately for citizens in Duluth, we have ComfortSystems utility company and they are open 24/7. They will be able to respond to your house if you need be. We strongly advise that you don't try to fix your furnaces yourself. Any of that incomplete combustion can lead to carbon monoxide issues," said Reff.

This is also an important reminder to check the batteries on your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and to do everything you can to limit travel.

Keep a warm blanket in the car just in case you have to go out. Reff said t be proactive now and get things done to avoid going out.

"You might want to get out and get groceries now before the cold starts so you can stay home, enjoy the Super Bowl Sunday and have no need to be out there," said Reff.

CHUM drop-in center is open 24/7 as a warming center and serves three meals a day. It's located on 102 W. 2nd Street. 

The Rainbow Center is open 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 24 hours on Sunday. It's located at 211 N 3rd Avenue West. 

Thanks to a partnership with the DTA, those needing to get to and from the Warming Center can ride a bus for free.

Ruth House in Superior is open from 8 a.m to 6 p.m.  It's located on 632 Grand Ave. 

Credits

Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2021 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

8 people dead, others injured in overnight Indianapolis shooting

Breakthrough COVID-19 cases in Minnesota

More closures begin Monday for Can of Worms project

Minnesota COVID-19 Update Friday

Collar cam: Voyageurs Wolf Project gives rare perspective

No prom for Duluth schools due to COVID concerns