Tips to keep safe and warm during bitter cold

(ABC 6 News) – Arctic air has descended on Minnesota and much of the Midwest with below-zero temperatures and dangerously cold wind chills.

High temperatures on Monday will barely make it above-zero, despite the ample sunshine. Temperatures will take the plunge once again Monday night with readings expected to be in the teens below-zero and wind chills nearing -30° by Tuesday morning.

Frostbite can occur in just a matter of minutes on any skin that is exposed to the cold for a long period of time. Hypothermia can also occur if not properly dressed for the bitter cold.

RELATED: Tips for frostbite, hypothermia prevention in extreme cold weather

Minnesota Energy shared some tips to keep safe and warm during these bitter cold spells.

  • Prevent carbon monoxide dangers: Make sure carbon monoxide detectors are working properly and learn the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Oven safety: Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. Not only is it inefficient, it could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Keep meters clear: Safely brush away snow and ice from a home’s natural gas meter and vents. The extra weight can stress or crack meter piping, causing a natural gas leak. It also can clog appliance vents, trapping carbon monoxide indoors.
  • Space heater safety: Only use newer models with safety features like automatic shut-off. Keep space heaters at least 6 feet away from flammable materials like drapes or blankets. Plug heaters directly into the wall, not into extension cords or power strips. Place the heater on a flat surface away from children and pets.
  • Safe sleeping: Turn off electric blankets when they are not being used. Keep pets away from electric blankets, as their teeth and claws can puncture wire insulation and cause damage.
  • Let the sun in: Open curtains or blinds when the sun is out to help warm the home. Close them at night to help retain heat and cut down on drafts.
  • Heat your home efficiently: A few simple steps — such as sealing gaps around windows and doors, adjusting your thermostat and changing furnace filters — can keep homes cozy and energy bills down.
  • Energy assistance: Minnesota Energy Resources offers numerous resources for customers — including budget billing, payment plans and heating assistance.

Temperatures slowly warm to the lower 20s by the mid-week, with another brisk north wind tumbling our temps Thursday into Friday once again, however temperatures rebound back to the mid-20s for the weekend.