Winter Safety Tips

When temperatures dip below 32 degrees keep these safety tips in mind. It is important to think ahead. Be sure you put these safety tips in place before the temperatures fall.

Helpful Tips  


  • Turn off all portable heaters before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Use a sturdy fireplace screen to keep sparks from flying out of the fireplace.
  • Keep space heaters at least thee feet from anything flammable.
  • Make sure you have smoke alarms on each level and in all bedrooms and test them per manufacturer's instructions.
  • Never heat your home using the stove or a gas grill.
  • If you heat with wood or a liquid-fueled furnace or space heater, make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.

Read more tips from WS/FC Emergency Management and the Winston-Salem Fire Department.    

Water Pipes

  • Insulate water heaters, pipes and faucets, especially in unheated spaces. 
  • Disconnect and drain outdoor water hoses. 
  • During extreme cold, allow faucets to trickle slowly.  
  • Know where your home’s main water supply shut-off valve is located to minimize flooding if a pipe breaks. 

Read more water pipe tips.

Helping Others  

  • Check on your neighbors. 
    • Offer help with shoveling or clearing a neighbor’s sidewalk, vehicle or driveway.
    • Run errands or delivering groceries.
    • Offer to check that snow is not blocking exhaust vents to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
    • Coordinate a group of neighbors to shovel out fire hydrants and clear storm drains.  
    • For those without permanent shelter in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County
      • Call the Coordinated Intake Center at (336) 721-9327 or 211. 
      • Winston-Salem Recreation & Parks centers offer warming stations during operating hours. Check for hours.
  • Pets
    • Limit outdoor activity.
    • Bring them indoors when possible.
    • Protect their coats and skin by using humidifiers to keep the skin from drying out. 
    • Protect their paws by drying them off after a walk through treated sidewalks and roads.

Read more on helping others and pets.