Holiday Season and Cold Weather Safety

During extremely cold weather, staying warm and safe can be a challenge. Learn how to prepare for winter storms, prevent cold temperature-related health problems, and protect yourself during all stages of a winter storm.

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Stay Safe Indoors:

  • Use care with space heaters and fireplaces to prevent fires. Keep anything that could catch fire at least 3 feet (1 meter) from the heat!
  • Avoid using candles because of the fire risk. Use battery-powered lights and flashlights instead.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning is common during power outages when people use other means to heat and cook. You can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Only use generators, grills, and camp stoves outdoors and away from windows.
  • Carbon monoxide kills. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak, get to fresh air right away – do not delay.
  • To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and home fires, never heat your home with a cooking oven or stove.

Be Ready for Extreme Cold:

  • Gather food, water, and medicine before a winter storm. Stores might be closed, and it may be unsafe to travel.
  • You may lose access to drinking water. Set aside at least one gallon of drinking water per person per day.
  • Have a snow shovel and ice-melting products to keep your walkways safe.
  • Learn how to spot and treat frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery back-ups.
  • Be ready to live without power, gas, and water.
  • Learn how to keep pipes from freezing.
  • Have a backup battery or a way to charge your cell phone.
  • Have a battery-powered radio to use during a power outage.
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Need somewhere to get warm? In Wellesley, the following locations are are available:

  • The main branch of the library is open Monday-Sunday. Click here for hours and location.
  • The Council on Aging, 500 Washington Street. Open to the public M-F from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  Sit in front of the fireplace, enjoy free coffee, tea, and newspapers.
  • Health Department , 90 Washington Street. Open M-F from  8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Need Help?

  • If you have an emergency, call 9-1-1. For the Wellesley Police Department  non-emergency line, call 781-235-1212. 
  • If you need financial help with heat this winter, contact the Health Department at 781-235-0135.