INDIANAPOLIS — Freezing temperatures can be dangerous, especially to the youngest and oldest among us.
”The first cold weather we get, people generally are not ready for it,” said Michael Pruitt, the Deputy Chief of Bargersville Fire Dept.
So far this winter, central Indiana has seen unseasonably warm temperatures. But with temperatures dropping to single digits and wind chills expected to dip below zero Thursday night into Friday morning, Pruitt said it’s best to avoid the cold.
”If you don’t have to go outside, don’t go outside,” Pruitt said.
With temperatures this low, frost bite can happen quickly.
“When they get down with wind chills of -15 you can get frostbite within 30 minutes of being outside for exposed areas,” said Dr. Jeffery Gibbs, the Medical Director for the Ascension St. Vincent Burn Center.
Gibbs said warning signs of frostbite are a pins and needles feeling, followed by the body part getting progressively number. He said the best thing to do is get inside and warm up.
”You want to keep them warm until the skin starts turning back to a normal color and those areas are feeling well,” Gibbs said.
But if that pain doesn’t go away, he said it’s probably time to head to the emergency room.
”You probably should seek medical attention at the point and have a physician look at it,” Gibbs said.
It’s also good to think of your elderly neighbors or relatives during these colder nights.
”Check on them, make sure they have heat, they have food, everything is working properly for them,” Pruitt said.
When it comes to staying warm inside your home, space heaters are great but can start a fire if you don’t keep an eye on them.
”Three foot away from anything that might be combustible and turn them off at night,” Pruitt said. “Add a few blankets, snuggle up and if you’re going to leave the home turn them off.”
Your pipes are also in danger of freezing in these temperatures. Pruitt said to open up the cupboards to let the heat from your house in and let your faucets drip. If your pipes do freeze, you should not try and thaw them yourself.
”What people don’t understand is if they’re thawing out a copper pipe in the home heat may be transferring into a wall that they can’t see and it starts a fire in the wall,” said Pruitt. “They don’t realize that until they get smolders for an hour or two and then a fire starts in the wall of the home.”
Despite the freezing temperatures Thursday night into Friday morning, there is a warm up coming for the weekend. Check the FOX59 forecast for the latest.