MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The cold temperatures might be keeping you indoors this Valentine's Day. But even if you are not going outside, there are safety tips you should be aware of this winter.
If you don't know how to prepare for these brutally cold temperatures, start by remembering the 3 P's: people, pets and pipes.
If you have to go outside, be sure to bundle up. February is a peak season for sicknesses to spread. You could get anything from a mild cold or the flu, to more severe issues like hypothermia or even frostbite.
There are safety tips for those cranking up the heat indoors too. As cold as it might get, never use an oven to heat your home, especially a gas powered oven. When you do that, odorless, but poisonous carbon monoxide can be emitted. To prevent fires from starting, turn off portable heaters when you're leaving a room or going to bed. You might even consider investing in heating equipment with an automatic shut-off if they tip over.
Monitor pets that stay inside to make sure they stay away from open fires and space heaters.
For furry friends that enjoy the outdoors, remember pets get sick from the cold too. Local veterinarian, Dr. Ashley Finan of Meadowlawn Animal Services recommends having your pets be outside for no more than 15-30 minutes.
She said, "You just have to think of your pets like you do yourself. So if you're too cold to be outside for long periods of time, don't think that they're an exception to that."
Lastly, consider your pipes. An expert at Roto Rooter says there are ways to prevent your pipes from freezing: close your vents, let your water faucet drip, disconnect your garden hoses and if you can, get your pipes insulated.