Firefighter Discusses Cold Weather Concerns

Extra Precautions Are Taken When Fighting Fires in the Cold

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Sub zero temperatures can be dangerous for anyone outside for very long.

Firefighters have to do their job in all kinds of extreme conditions including dangerously cold weather.

They recommend not going outside unless you need to and wearing as many layers as possible.

The Superior Fire Department takes extra precautions when battling flames in the cold. They make sure to always keep their water moving, they swap out crews as often as possible, and they make sure their crews have warm places to stay.

They tell us that when clothes get wet in sub zero temperatures it can be deadly, but their suits are made to protect them in all conditions.

“Our gear is water proof and actually once the water gets on it and freezes, it makes it harder to move but it’s actually fairly insulating,” said Battalion Chief Erik Sutton of the Superior Fire Department.

During the winter, pipes can freeze in many homes. The fire department recommends running faucets a little bit to keep water moving to protect pipes.

“If your pipes have froze, they didn’t freeze all at once. They took a while,” said Sutton. “They’re not going to thaw all at once, so you’re going to have to slowly warm them back up, which means don’t use a propane torch. Don’t use a blow torch to thaw them out.”

They say space heaters and blow dryers can be effective in thawing pipes.

Firefighters also remind pet owners to make sure animals have a chance to come inside from the cold, and that pets are given fresh water often.