AVANGRID Offers Safety Tips for Extreme Cold Weather

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Dec 272018

Weather Advisory Issued to Customers of United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas, Connecticut Natural Gas and Berkshire Gas

AVANGRID (NYSE: AGR), a diversified U.S. energy company, and its subsidiaries in Connecticut and Massachusetts are urging customers to take measures to stay safe and warm during the bitterly cold weather that’s forecast for New England.

“The risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and other hazards can increase as residents try to stay warm during the extreme cold,” said Bob Kump, CEO of Avangrid Networks, the parent company of United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas, Connecticut Natural Gas and Berkshire Gas.

“As this extremely cold weather settles in, we encourage customers to look around their homes and make sure they’re able to keep themselves and their families warm and to identify any potential safety risks that must be addressed,” Kump said.

Staying Warm

If you are unable to keep your home safely and comfortably heated, call Infoline at 211 for resources that can help you and your family.

Exposure to extreme cold can cause serious medical conditions including hypothermia and frostbite. To avoid them, stay indoors if possible and wear warm clothing, including head covering and gloves or mittens.

For information about frostbite, hypothermia, and other concerns, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/index.html.

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Incidences of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning rise during cold weather, as a result of malfunctioning appliances, poor ventilation and improper use of heat sources. Place smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, outside of sleeping areas and inside each bedroom. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly to make sure the batteries are working, and replace the batteries at least twice a year.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and tasteless toxic gas. It is a product of fuel combustion, and a buildup can result from a furnace or space heater problem. Symptoms of CO poisoning can mimic flu, so make sure the CO detector is functioning.

For more information about fire and carbon monoxide dangers, visit the National Fire Protection Association, http://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/News-and-media/Press-Room/News-releases/2016/Winter-weather-months-prompt-heating-and-carbon-monoxide-safety-warnings.

Stove and Range

The stove, range, and other kitchen appliances are designed for cooking, not heating. Use them as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition to creating a fire hazard, a natural gas stove or oven can present a carbon-monoxide risk when used for heating.

Space Heaters

Use only space heaters that have been tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and never use a device designed for outdoor use indoors. Place the space heater on a level surface away from foot traffic, at least 3 feet from combustible materials. Inspect the cord for fraying, and after plugging it in, periodically feel the cord near the outlet to make sure the plastic is not getting hot. Do not run the space heater cord under a rug or carpeting, and never use an extension cord for a space heater. Keep children and pets away, and turn off the space heater when you leave the area.

More space heater safety information can be found on the U.S. Department of Energy website, at https://energy.gov/energysaver/portable-heaters.

Heating, Hot Water, and Plumbing

Keep the furnace area clear of flammable materials and keep vents clear to provide a good air supply to your heating system to ensure proper combustion.

Water pipes that are exposed to cold temperatures may freeze and burst. Don’t ignore drips or odd noises from your heating system — call your heating company to investigate. Wrap exposed pipes in your basement with pipe insulation to help them retain heat and avoid freezing.

The American Red Cross offers additional tips for avoiding frozen pipes at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes.

OH SNOW! Here We Go Again! What’s Kevin Got To Say About It?

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Feb 142015

A Blizzard Warning is in effect, and today is not the worst we will see.

Here’s what Orange Live’s long-time weather buddy Kevin Arnone has to say about it. [Come on WTNH, put this man on air!]

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 3.39.57 PM



Opinion: That Biting Cold You Feel Can Be Serious

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Jan 222014

There are many gross photos of frostbitten fingers on the Internet I chose to go easy on you.

There are many gross photos of severely         frostbitten fingers on the Internet I chose         to go easy on you.

For the past couple of days, I’ve been searching for useful information to help keep you and your family members safe and healthy in the freezing weather.

According to the National Weather Service’s wind-chill chart, if the temperature is -15 degrees out with a 20 mph wind, the temperature will feel like -42 degrees and your child could get frostbite within 10 minutes.

The temperatures that we saw around here 8-12 degrees Fahrenheit with the steady low winds we could be outside for a half hour before getting frostbite.

Frostbite typically affects smaller more exposed body parts like- the nose, earlobes, fingers, hands and toes, so when I went out to clear off my car and to shovel the snow I wore layers, including a hoodie, hooded winter coat, wool socks, insulated snow boots, “thinsulate” gloves and I worked as quickly as I could to complete the job.

I cleared the walk in front of my house and the front and back stairs and 3/4 of the car when suddenly my fingers began to burn. The pain was almost unbearable.

I remembered what I read about frostbite

Signs and symptoms you should look out for include:

• A change in skin color- usually to a red, white or pale grayish-yellow color

• A prickly and slightly painful sensation

• Hard or waxy looking skin

• Numbness 

• A cold or burning feeling 

• Blistering, in severe cases

If you ever suspect you have frostbite, get indoors and bathe the affected area in lukewarm water – not hot water. — This is what I did.

My fingertips are still slightly numb and tingly, but they aren’t red anymore and I can type without any pain. (My nose is still freezing though)

Moral of the story. Be very careful out there, don’t ignore any signs of trouble. Keep a close eye on your children and don’t let your pets stay outside for long. The pads on their feet are susceptible to injury just like our fingers and toes.