Extended cold snap prompts safety warnings

With temperatures -30 and colder, people need to take precautions. Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

With cold weather in the forecast for the rest of the Christmas holidays and temperatures dropping to -36 on Wednesday, safety warnings are being issued. 

Parkland Ambulance said that they are seeing multiple issues of people suffering from cold exposure.

“We can all do our part to dress for the weather, check on our neighbors and with those in need ensure they have a safe place to go. If you see someone outdoors who needs help, such as those who are considered homeless, call 9-1-1 and get help for them,” said Lyle Karasiuk. 

Daytime temperatures will hover around -30 until New Year’s Eve before a little relief is felt, according to Environment Canada. 

An extreme cold warning has been issued for the Prince Albert region from St. Louis to Shellbrook, Birch Hills and Candle Lake. 

“A multi-day episode of very cold wind chills is expected,” the alert said.

“An extremely cold arctic airmass remains entrenched over southern Saskatchewan with windchills of -35 to -45 Monday evening. Even colder wind chills will develop tonight as overnight temperatures dip into the minus forties.”

With the cold weather and wind chill, frostbite can happen in minutes. 

Extended cold also causes furnaces to run for longer periods of time, which can lead to other safety concerns. 

Buckland Fire and Rescue reminded people to watch their furnace exhaust and intakes. 

If they freeze up, there could be improper venting. 

Using space heaters can also cause carbon monoxide problems as the heater uses the room air. 

Newer space heaters often have sensors that shut the heater off if the room oxygen level drops too low, but older heaters do not have this feature.