H.O. Services has a new location! – Receive Huge Deals This Off-Season!

Since 1990 H.O. Services has been “Boston’s Home Team” for residential electrical, heating, cooling and drain cleaning. Established in Belmont we are excited to announce our new office location at 83 Concord Street right near Belmont High School!  
Because we want home owners to be as thrilled about our new location as well are we are offering massive off season savings on both heating and cooling services! Hire our company between now and May 15th, 2015 and save in the following ways:
– $25 off any heating or cooling job under $300 
– $50 off any heating or cooling job over $500
– $200 off any heating or cooling job over $1000
– $500 off new installation on select models for cooling and heating! 
– $59 heating or cooling inspection! 
*can not be combined with other offers
*expiration May 15th, 2015
*limit one per household
H.O. Services is proud to offer energy efficient systems that are better for the environment and can save you on bills this season and throughout the life of the system. We even offer systems with lifetime warrantees, so that it is the last system you ever have to buy!
With winter almost out of style and summer closer than you think now is the time to save on your home!
Are you ready to save money? Call H.O. Services today at

1-844-HELLO-H-O or 617-489-6324 

H.O. Electric Receives 2015 Best of Belmont Award


Best of Belmont 2015

Belmont Award Program Honors the Achievement

BELMONT March 10, 2015 — H.O. Electric has been selected for the 2015 Best of Belmont Award in the Electrical Contractors category by the Belmont Award Program.

Each year, the Belmont Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Belmont area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Belmont Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Belmont Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Belmont Award Program

The Belmont Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Belmont area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Belmont Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Belmont Award Program

Belmont Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@awardsystem.org
URL: http://www.awardsystem.org

$59 Basic Cleaning on you heating/cooling system!!!

Call H.O. Services now to get your safety inspection basic tune up now!* It’s never too soon or too late to have your system checked.



Call now to get your $59 Basic spring time special basic cleaning.

H.O. Services is your residential Electrical-Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Specialist in Greater Boston. We show up on time and in uniform, and most jobs can be completed the same day. They offer upfront pricing, meaning that you will know the price of the job before the work begins. Please call us at: 617-489-6324. http://homeownerservices.com/
No job big or small, H.O. Services does it all! This is what makes us “Boston’s Home Team for Your Home”!

* Not all systems apply, Other plans available, Discounts on all plans available. Exp. End of April, 2015

H.O. Electric Selected For “Watertown, MA’s Best Businesses For 2014″

H.O. Electric Selected For “Watertown, MA’s Best Businesses For 2014

H.O. Electric of Belmont, MA has been honored with a recognition byBestOfSurveys.com in its selection of Watertown, MA’s Best Businesses For 2014.”

Belmont, MA March 5, 2015— Announcing a special recognition appearing in the December, 2014 issue of BestOfSurveys.com published by Market Surveys Of America. H.O. Electric was selected for the following honor:

Watertown, MA’s Best Businesses For 2014

A spokesperson from H.O. Electric commented on the recognition: “This is quite an honor for us. The fact that BestOfSurveys.com included H.O. Electric in its selection of Watertown, MA’s Best Businesses For 2012,”signals that our constant efforts towards business excellence are paying off. We are proud to be included in this recognition.”

Add a special “About Us” paragraph to this news release telling all of your customers and potential customers all about you and your business.

Following the publication of H.O. Electric‘s selection for BestOfSurveys.com‘s Watertown, MA’s Best Businesses For 2014 list, American Registry seconded the honor and added H.O. Electric to the “Registry of Business Excellence™”. An exclusive recognition plaque, shown here, has been designed to commemorate this honor.

For more information on H.O. Electric, located in Belmont, MA please

This press release was written by American Registry, LLC with contributions from H.O. Electric on behalf of H.O. Electric .

American Registry, LLC is an independent company that serves businesses and professionals such asH.O. Electric who have been recognized for excellence. American Registry offers news releases, plaques and The Registry™, an online listing of over 2 million significant business and professional recognitions. Search The Registry™ at http://www.americanregistry.com.

Contact Info:
H.O. Electric

Email Address: customerservice@hoelectric.com

H.O. Electric Selected For Watertown, MA’s Best Businesses For 2014“.
Source: H.O. Electric

Stop Ice Dams From Destroying Your Home

Stop Ice Dams From Destroying Your Home

Don’t Let This happen To You!Ice Dam Signs

Does your house look like this one in the winter? I drive down the road all winter long and see house after house with the tell tale signs of ice dams. Those massive icicles hanging down from the roof eaves are a sure sign of a potential ice dam problem in the near future.

Ice dams are the result of several factors all working at the same time. They include:

  • Inadequate ceiling insulation
  • Poor soffit and ridge vent ventilation
  • Cold temperatures
  • Sunny days

Ice damIf you live in a cold, snowy region, you already know about the damaging effects of ice dams. The gutters clog up with ice, then water runoff from the roof gets trapped by the dam and eventually backs up the roof, travels under the shingles, and leaks into the house.

While a permanent fix for ice dams usually requires roof heating cables, there is a simple way to diminish the damage after the dam has formed.

Fill the leg of discarded pair of panty hose with a calcium chloride ice melter. Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and overhangs the gutter. If necessary, use a long-handled garden rake or hoe to push it into position.

The calcium chloride will eventually melt through the snow and ice and create a channel for water to flow down into the gutters or off the roof.

Heat cables

Or… You could call H.O. Electric to resolve your issue. Roof de-icing cable prevents this water and ice damage by providing a clear path for melting water to flow off the roof. It keeps roof edges, gutters and downspouts ice-free.
Find us on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter


Call H.O. Services today at 617-489-6324 to schedule your appointment, or visit us on the web at
We’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
Clip & Save! Get $25.00 off any electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling  service & repair with H.O. Services. Call 617-489-6324 anytime to schedule your appointment. www.hoelectric.com.
Cannot be combined with any other offer.

H.O. Services of Lexington, MA Receives Best Of Houzz 2015 Award



Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building,

Remodeling and Design Professionals in the United States and Around the World


Lexington, MA USA, January 19, 2015H.O. Services of Lexington, MA has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The Electric-Drain Cleaning-Heating-Cooling Specialist Company was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Customer Satisfaction. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014. Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles, helping Houzz users around the world who discover and love a professional’s work to learn even more about that business’ popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community.

Boston‘s Home Team!

“Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize H.O. Services among our “Best Of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Follow H.O. Services on Houzz http://www.homeownerservices.com

About H.O. Services

Building 36

H.O. Services is your residential Electric-Drain Cleaning-Heating-Cooling Specialist. We are an electrical contracting company providing homeowners the best Electric-Drain Cleaning-Heating-Cooling repair service in Greater Boston. This family owned establishment shows up on time and in uniform, and most jobs can be completed the same day. They offer upfront pricing, meaning that you will know the price of the job before the work begins. If you’re looking for residential Electric-Drain Cleaning-Heating-Cooling service or electrical repair in the Greater Boston, MA area and are interested in scheduling an appointment with this company, please call us at: 617-489-6324.


About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin and Sydney. For more information, visit www.houzz.com

# # #


Home Furnace Maintenance Tips

Home Furnace Maintenance Tips
Furnace Repair 1Furnaces are often uncomplicated and relatively easy to keep up. The purpose of systematic maintenance is effective operation and efficiency so you save on heating costs.  Whatever kind of furnace that is heating the house, there are several steps to take to preserve the heating in prime operating condition. At H.O. Services we specialize in furnace maintenance as well as installation of new systems. If you’re interested in maintaining your furnace but want someone else to get their hands dirty please consider joining our Membership Club for free maintenance.

Three Components of Heating System
When a heating system does not work correctly, one of the three workings, the source of heat, the circulation system or the thermostat, may be the cause of the problem. If the furnace will not run, the issue is most likely at the heat source. Possible causes could include loss of power, fuel not reaching the unit or failure of the oil or gas to ignite. If the furnace does turn on, but the warmed air does not spread to the rooms, the difficulty could be in the blower. A defective thermostat will stop the heating system from turning on or could make the furnace turn on and off. We recommend the Nest thermostat as you can control it remotely with your smartphone or tablet and it learns your energy needs to save  you money.

Initial Steps to Furnace Maintenance
There are initial steps to take to work on a furnace. Be certain that the heating unit is receiving power by checking for fuses that are blown or circuit breakers that are tripped at the main panel. Check the reset button which is close to the motor housing. If the motor has been running, wait 30 minutes for the motor to cool down and then press the button one time. If the unit doesn’t start this time, wait another 30 minutes and press the reset button again. Try one more time if necessary. If the furnace has a different power switch, turn the switch on. Set the thermostat at the proper temperature. If the furnace is powered by gas, inspect the gas source to be certain it is turned on and the pilot light is burning. Double check for a sufficient supply of oil.

Safety Features When Working on Heating System
Several safety factors should be considered before working on the furnace. Turn off all power to the heating unit before working on it. At the main electrical panel, remove the fuse that regulates the furnace or trip the circuit breaker. Another alternative is to take out the main fuse or trip the circuit breaker for the power for the entire house. If the circuit trips or the fuse blows continuously when the furnace is turned on, then the problem exists in the house’s electrical system. This issue should be repaired by a professional electrician.

Maintaining a Clean Furnace
If the furnace is dirty, the heating system will run less efficiently and waste fuel. Dirt can reduce the efficiency of all three workings of the system, so cleaning is a significant part of system maintenance. Belt adjustment and lubrication are important steps.
Precautions with a Gas Furnace

Furnace Repair 3If the furnace has a gas power source, and gas can be smelled in the home, the home owner should not turn off the gas and should not use any lights. The first step is to call the gas company and leave the doors open.

Annual Professional Furnace Check

To maintain the heating system in top condition, the furnace should be serviced by a professional once a year. The end of the heating season is the best time to get the furnace maintained. This is the least-busy season for service professionals, so it is possible for the homeowner to get a discount. Service is more likely to be completed more rapidly.
Warranty for Heating System
Another step to take is to purchase an extended home warranty when purchasing the furnace or when arranging to have the furnace serviced. The furnace will be serviced on a regular basis with parts being guaranteed. No matter what kind of heating system a house has, the homeowner must not wait until the furnace stops working before calling for maintenance. If a heating system is kept up, the homeowner will save cost on fuel and lengthen the life of the furnace.

For more information on maintaining your furnace please contact us

Find us on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter


Call H.O. Services today at 1-844-HELLO-H-O to schedule your appointment, or visit us on the web at
We’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
$25 Logo
Clip & Save! Get $25.00 off any electrical, drain cleaning, heating, cooling  service & repair with H.O. Services. Call 617-489-6324 anytime to schedule your appointment. www.homeownerservices.com.
Cannot be combined with any other offer.

How to Find and Fix Frozen Water Pipes

How to Find and Fix Frozen Water Pipes
Frozen PipesFrozen water pipes can expand and burst when they thaw, which can lead to thousands of dollars of damage to your ceilings, floors, walls, furniture and carpets. While the best way to prevent frozen pipes involves insulating and protecting your water lines, frozen pipes can occur even in well-prepared homes. By locating a frozen line and thawing it gradually, you can help reduce the chances of a burst pipe.
How do you know your pipe is frozen? After a cold night, you turn on your tap and instead of a steady water you get nothing!  Since water expands when it freezes a frozen pipe is in danger of bursting. It needs to be thawed immediately or you could cause tremendous water damage to your home.
First you need to find out where the pipe is frozen. Turn off the main water supply. This will prevent the water from gushing out once the pipe is thawed.   Open your water taps, sinks, and shower taps.

  • If water isn’t running anywhere in the house, a pipe near the water meter may be frozen. Touch the meter and the adjacent exposed pipes. If they are very cold, they are probably frozen.
  • If water runs in only one part of the house, a pipe in an outside wall or un-insulated crawl space is probably frozen. Open kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets to allow warm air from the house to warm the pipes.
  • Once you’ve found the frozen pipe, open the affected faucet all the way, and open other hot water faucets in the house. When the water is flowing in the affected pipe, close all the faucets to a trickle. Do not close the affected faucet until the pipe is completely thawed and the water flowing freely.

Pipe FreezeThe safest – and neatest – thawing methods involve a gentle heat source hair dryer, heat lamp, or household iron. A propane torch or other open flame will heat the pipe too quickly and may cause it to explode. Some people recommend pouring boiling water over rags wrapped around a frozen pipe. The obvious drawback is that this method is messy. Never pour boiling water directly onto a frozen pipe.
When thawing pipes with a heat lamp or hair dryer always work from an open faucet toward the frozen area. This will keep steam from being trapped by ice and bursting the pipe. With the faucet open, you can see when the ice has melted. Do not use un-grounded electrical appliances outdoors, or near grounded water pipes.

To prevent pipes from freezing in the first place, wrap electrical heating cable around it-one turn every two feet-then cover the pipe with insulation to conserve the heat. Follow all directions on the heating cable and take special care not to overlap the cable. Plug in the cable when the temperatures drops below freezing. The same cable device can be used to thaw a pipe.
  1. Turn on the water fixtures in various parts of your home to identify the one(s) that do not work. Water in areas with frozen lines will usually trickle or not come out at all. This will usually help you isolate your search to a specific area of your home, such as a bathroom or laundry room.
  2. Look for exposed pipes in the area where you suspect a frozen water line. You might need to go into the attic, basement or crawl space of the area to look for uninsulated pipes.
  3. Check the pipes for any signs of bulging or cracking. You might also notice frost on any frozen sections of exposed pipes. The frozen areas will usually be much colder to touch than the pipes with free-flowing water.
  4. Examine the pipe(s) that supply water to the compromised area from the main supply to the water fixture. If you do not find the frozen part in an exposed area, it might be hidden inside of a wall. You might need to open the drywall to thaw pipes hidden inside of a wall.

Tips & Warnings
If no water in the house works, your main water line might be frozen. Check the areas where it enters your home (usually at the foundation or near the basement).
The American Red Cross recommends adding insulation to frozen pipes or relocating them to a more protected area to help prevent them from freezing.

We recommend calling a professional plumber if your pipes freeze. They suggest that you might be able to thaw them yourself using a source of gentle, consistent heat (such as a hair dryer)-but only after talking to a plumber first as well as ensuring that the compromised area has no standing water.

WE are proud to have an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau


Staying Warm and Safe At Home and On The Road!

Winter Survival Guide

Staying Warm and Safe At Home and On The Road!


In New England, we can get clobbered by arctic temperatures and intense snowstorms. Staying warm and safe in the face of old man winter can be quite a challenge. Exposure to extreme cold, whether indoors or outside, can cause other serious or life-threatening health problems. Snow and ice storms can also bring power failures, icy roads and car problems.

Taking preventive action is your best defense against having to deal with extreme cold-weather conditions. By preparing your home and car in advance and by observing safety precautions during times of extremely cold weather, you can reduce the risk of winter-related health emergencies and disasters.

To keep you and your family safe, you should know how to prevent cold-related health problems and what to do when cold-weather emergencies arise. H.O. Services and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following actions to plan and prepare for the worst that winter can dish out at home and on the road.

  • Preparing Your Home for Winter
  • Preparing Your Car for Winter
  • Indoor Safety
  • Outdoor Safety
  • A Few Words About Hypothermia
  • A Few Words About Frostbite

Preparing Your Home for Winter

1).  Make sure your home has these supplies on hand:

  • An alternate way to heat your home during a power failure (dry firewood for a fireplace or wood stove, or kerosene for a kerosene heater)
  • Furnace fuel (coal, propane, or oil)
  • Electric space heater with automatic shut-off switch and non-glowing elements
  • Blankets
  • Matches or lighter
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered lantern
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Battery-powered clock or watch
  • Extra batteries
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Snow shovel
  • Rock salt

2).  Keep several days’ worth of these items available:

  • Food that needs no cooking or refrigeration, such as bread, crackers, cereal, canned foods, and dried fruits.
  • Baby food and formula if you have young children.
  • Water stored in clean containers, or purchased bottled water (5 gallons per person) in case your water pipes freeze and rupture.
  • Medicines that any family member may need.
  • Special needs items (diapers, hearing aid batteries, medications, etc.)

3).  Additional Recommendations:

  • Listen to weather forecasts regularly…and heed them.
  • If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney or flue inspected each year.
  • Install a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated.
  • Test them monthly, and replace batteries twice yearly.
  • Keep an eye on older family members. The ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age, and older people are more susceptible to health problems caused by cold.
  • Place an easy-to-read thermometer in an indoor location where you will see it frequently, and check the temperature of your home often during the winter months.
  • Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.
  • Weatherproof your home by adding weather-stripping, insulation, insulated doors and storm windows, or thermal-pane windows.
  • If you have pets, bring them indoors.

 Preparing Your Car for Winter

Traveling in extreme cold can be hazardous. You should avoid travel during extreme cold weather if at all possible. If travel is absolutely necessary, you can avoid many dangerous winter travel problems by planning ahead.

Vehicle Maintenance:
Have maintenance service on your car as often as the manufacturer recommends, and perform the following every autumn:

  • Have the radiator system serviced, or check the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester. Add antifreeze, as needed.
  • Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
  • Replace any worn tires, and check the air pressure in the tires.
  • During winter, keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

Winter Survival Kit for Your Car
Keep these items on hand in your car at all times:

  • Blankets
  • First aid kit
  • A can and matches/lighter (to melt snow for water)
  • Windshield scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • Road maps
  • Mobile phone
  • Compass
  • Tool kit
  • Paper towels
  • Bag of sand or cat litter (to pour on ice for added traction)
  • Tow rope
  • Tire chains
  • Collapsible shovel
  • Container of water and high-calorie canned or dried foods and a can opener
    flashlight and extra batteries
  • Canned compressed air with sealant (for flat tires)
  • Brightly colored cloth (as a distress signal)

What to Do if You Get Stranded

  • Staying inside your vehicle when stranded is usually the safest choice if winter storms create poor visibility or if roadways are ice covered.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna as a signal to rescuers and raise the hood of the car (if it is not snowing).
  • Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area.
  • Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra clothing, blankets, or newspapers.
  • Stay awake. You will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems.
  • Run the car’s engine and heater for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let in air.  To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe.
  • While sitting, keep moving your arms and legs to improve your circulation and stay warmer.
  • Don’t eat un melted snow; it will lower your body temperature.
  • Huddle with other passengers for warmth.

Indoor Safety

Heating Tips:

  • Use fireplaces, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak flue gas into the indoor air space.
  • Do not burn paper in a fireplace.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation if you must use a kerosene heater.
  • Use only the type of fuel your heater is designed to use—don’t substitute.
  • Do not place space heaters within 3 feet of anything that may catch on fire, such as drapes, furniture, or bedding, and never cover your space heater.
  • Never place space heaters on top of furniture or near water.
  • Never leave children unattended near a space heater.
  • Make sure that the cord of an electric space heater is not a tripping hazard but do not run the cord under carpets or rugs.
  • Avoid using extension cords to plug in your space heater.
  • If your space heater has a damaged electrical cord or produces sparks, do not use it.
  • Store a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher near the area to be heated.
  • Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated detector.

In Case of Power Failure:

  • Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns rather than candles, if possible.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended.
  • Never use a charcoal or gas grill indoors—the fumes are deadly.
  • Never use an electric generator indoors because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Plug in appliances to the generator using individual heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords.
  • Do not use the generator or appliances if they are wet.
  • Do not store gasoline indoors where the fumes could ignite.

Conserve Heat

  • If you don’t need extra ventilation, keep as much heat as possible inside your home.
  • Avoid unnecessary opening of doors or windows. Close off unused rooms, stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors, and close draperies or cover windows with blankets at night.

Monitor Body Temperature

  • Infants and senior citizens are much more sensitive to the cold and at risk for cold-related health issues. Provide warm clothing and try to maintain a warm indoor temperature.
  • Check on babies and older people frequently during the day.

Monitor Pipes and Plumbing
Extreme cold can cause water pipes in your home to freeze and sometimes rupture. When very cold temperatures are expected:

  • Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
  • Keep the indoor temperature warm.
  • Improve the circulation of heated air near pipes. For example, open kitchen cabinet doors beneath the kitchen sink.
  • If your pipes freeze, don’t thaw with a torch. Use a hair dryer.
  • If you cannot thaw your pipes, or if they are ruptured, use bottled water or get water from a neighbor. As an emergency measure—if no other water is available—snow can be melted for water. Bringing water to a boil for one minute will kill most microorganisms or parasites that may be present.

Eat and Drink Wisely

  • Eating well-balanced meals will help you stay warmer.
  • Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages—they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.
  • Drink warm, sweet beverages or broth to help maintain your body temperature.

Outdoor Safety

General Tips

  • Try to stay indoors. Make any trips outside as brief as possible. If you must go outside, follow these suggestions:
  • Dress Warmly: Adults and children should wear, hats, scarves, gloves, and water-resistant coat and boots. Be sure to wear several layers of loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing. Wool, silk, or polyester will hold more body heat than cotton.
  • Stay Dry: Wet clothing chills the body rapidly. Excess perspiration will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm.
  • Don’t Ignore Shivering. It’s an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.
  • Avoid Exertion: Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold.
  • Avoid High Winds: The Wind Chill Index is the temperature your body feels when the air temperature is combined with the wind speed. It is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold. As the speed of the wind increases, it can carry heat away from your body much more quickly, causing skin temperature to drop and increasing your likelihood for weather-related health problems.
  • Avoid Ice: Walking on ice is extremely dangerous. Many cold-weather injuries result from falls on ice-covered sidewalks, steps, driveways, and porches. Keep your steps and walkways as free of ice as possible by using rock salt or another chemical de-icing compound. Sand may also be used on walkways to reduce the risk of slipping.

Be Safe During Recreation

  • Notify friends and family where you will be before you go hiking, camping, skating or skiing.
  • Do not leave areas of the skin exposed to the cold.
  • Avoid perspiring or becoming overtired. Be prepared to take emergency shelter. Pack dry clothing, a two-wave radio, waterproof matches and paraffin fire starters with you.
  • Do not use alcohol and other mood altering substances, and avoid caffeinated beverages. Avoid walking on ice or getting wet.

Be Cautious About Travel

  • Listen for radio or TV reports of travel advisories issued by the National Weather Service.
  • Do not travel in low visibility conditions.
  • Avoid traveling on icy roads, overpasses, and bridges if at all possible.
  • If you must travel by car, use tire chains and take a mobile phone with you. Let others know your destination and when you expect to arrive. Ask them to notify authorities if you are late.
  • Check and restock the winter emergency supplies in your car before you leave.
  • Never pour water on your windshield to remove ice or snow; it may shatter.
  • Always carry additional warm clothing appropriate for the winter conditions.

A Few Words About Hypothermia

Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures causes your body to lose heat faster than it can be produced. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Body temperature that is too low affects and damages the brain, the nervous system and internal organs, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.

Hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, but it can occur even at temperatures in the 40-50 degree range if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.

Victims of Hypothermia are often:

  • Elderly people with inadequate food, clothing, or heating
  • Babies sleeping in cold bedrooms
  • People who remain outdoors for long periods
  • People who drink alcohol or use illegal drugs.

Warnings Signs of Hypothermia:

  • Shivering, exhaustion
  • Confusion, fumbling hands
  • Memory loss, slurred speech
  • Drowsiness, very low energy
  • Bright red, cold skin

What to Do About Hypothermia
If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, the situation is an EMERGENCY…get medical attention immediately. If medical care is not available, begin warming the person, as follows:

  • Get the victim into a warm room or shelter.
  • If the victim has on any wet clothing, remove it.
  • Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin—using an electric blanket, if available. Or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets.
  • Warm beverages can help increase the body temperature, but do not give alcoholic beverages. Do not try to give beverages to an unconscious person.
  • After body temperature has increased, keep the person dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible.
  • A person with severe hypothermia may be unconscious and may not seem to have a pulse or to be breathing. In this case, handle the victim gently, and get emergency assistance immediately. Even if the victim appears dead, CPR should be provided. CPR should continue while the victim is being warmed, until the victim responds or medical aid becomes available. In some cases, hypothermia victims who appear to be dead can be successfully resuscitated.

A Few Words About Frostbite

Frostbite is an injury to the skin and body caused by freezing. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage skin and body parts, and in severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.

Warning Signs of Frostbite
A victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb. At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin—frostbite may be beginning. Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:

  • A white or grayish-yellow skin area
  • Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
  • Numbness

What to Do About Frostbite
If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. Because frostbite and hypothermia both result from exposure, first determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia, as described previously. Hypothermia is a more serious condition and requires emergency medical assistance.

If there is frostbite but no sign of hypothermia, and immediate medical care is not available, proceed as follows:

  • Get into a warm room as soon as possible.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes (this increases the damage).
  • Immerse the affected area in warm—not hot—water (comfortable to the touch). Or, warm the affected area using body heat.
  • Do not rub the frostbitten area with snow or massage it at all. This can cause more damage.
  • Don’t use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for warming. Affected areas are numb and can be easily burned.