During snow and icy conditions, NYCHA does everything possible to provide safe conditions for our residents. Removal of snow and ice receives priority over all other janitorial and grounds work and, under extreme conditions, certain maintenance tasks as well.
COLD WEATHER SAFETY TIPS
Tips for Staying Warm
Exposure to cold can cause life-threatening health conditions. Avoid serious conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia, by keeping warm.
- Wear a hat, hood, or scarf, as most heat is lost through the head
- Wear layers, as they provide better insulation and warmth
- Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered if you go outside
- Keep clothing dry; if a layer becomes wet, remove it
Seniors, infants, the homeless, and those with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk. If you know of friends, neighbors, or family members who may be at risk check on them to make sure their heat is working and that they are OK.
Recognize the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite:
Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition where body temperature is abnormally low. Symptoms may include shivering, slurred speech, sluggishness, drowsiness, unusual behavior, confusion, dizziness, and shallow breathing.
Frostbite is a serious injury to a body part frozen from exposure to the cold. It most often affects extremities like fingers and toes or exposed areas such as ears or parts of the face. Redness and pain may be the first warning of frostbite. Other symptoms include numbness or skin that appears pale, firm, or waxy.
Provide first aid:
- If you suspect a person is suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, bring him or her someplace warm and call 911.
- If medical help is not immediately available, re-warm the person, by removing any damp clothing and covering them with warm blankets.
Influenza is a major preventable cause of illness and death during the wintertime. Urge your clients and staff to get vaccinated. They can call their doctor or 311 for more information for the nearest clinic.
SAFE HOME HEATING TIPS
Please do not use the oven or stove to heat your apartment, this is a fire hazard and can cause toxic fumes. Also, the improper use of portable heating equipment can lead to fire. Take precautions to ensure you are heating your home safely.
Fire safety tips for the use of electric heaters as stated by New York Fire Department
- Space heaters should be at least three feet from anything that can burn and should always be turned off when leaving a room or going to sleep. Space heaters are temporary heating devices and should only be used for a limited time each day.
- Never use an extension cord with a space heater. Space heaters should be plugged directly into an outlet.
- Never use a space heater with a frayed or damaged cord, even for a small amount of time.
- Young children should be kept away from any heater or appliance that has hot surfaces that can cause burns.
What to Do if You Lose Heat or Hot Water at Home
New York City Housing Authority residents without adequate heat or hot water should call the Customer Contact Center (CCC) at: (718) 707-7771.311.
If you experience a service outage please contact NYCHA’s Customer Contact Center at (718) 707-7771. Sign up to get email alerts about service outages at your development with NYCHA Alerts: www.nyc.gov/nychaalerts.
For more information about cold weather safety and how you can prepare for emergencies call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/oem.