CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – With December 21 being the first day of the 2022-2023 winter season and cold weather conditions on the way, 12 News is bringing you some tips to stay safe.

According to the National Weather Service, common extremes in our area include snow, ice accumulation, freezing temperatures, and wind chill. Danger can be lurking on the roads and even inside your house. One of our 12 News reporters spoke with Timothy Curry, the city of Bridgeport’s director of emergency management, and he helped us come up with a few helpful tips.

What to have in your car

When it comes to traveling, it is always best to be prepared before getting on the road. Make sure you have a full tank of gas and an emergency kit that consists of food, water, blankets, and flashlights. This emergency kit would come in handy if an accident happens and drivers are stuck on the side of the road for an extended period of time. Drive slowly, safely, and responsibly. Black ice can be hiding in any nook and cranny on the road, and is one of the leading causes of accidents in the winter season.

How to stay safe and warm at home

Pipes also tend to freeze when it comes to cold and low temperatures. To keep this from happening, curry suggests letting your water run through the night, and just a trickle, at that. This keeps water moving through the pipes so that it does not have time to sit and freeze.

Another cold weather tip would be to bring your pets inside as temperatures drop. Think about it, when most people go out in the cold air, they tend to bundle up to stay warm. Limit human and pet time outside when temperatures are low, they are both susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia.

Timothy curry mentioned that indoor space heaters cause about one-third of home fires every winter. These home fires can be prevented by plugging space heaters into an outlet, rather than a power strip, and keep flammable items away from the heater. Curry also added, “if you’re using propane or natural gas to heat your house, make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector or two in the house. As it’s, you know, carbon monoxide, odorless and tasteless if things aren’t vented properly, it can build up in the house and is toxic to you.”

Everyone can do their part on the roads and at home to have a safe winter season. However, accidents can still happen, but we would like to help prevent them beforehand if we can. Curry said that the City of Bridgeport is doing what it can to also prepare for these winter weather conditions. They are preparing by having warming shelters ready, in case of power outages, and having public works ready to plow and salt the roads when they start getting bad. The City of Bridgeport continues to put up multiple safety tips to keep you safe on their Facebook page. These tips will work for anyone in any city, it just takes putting in the work to stay safe.