Cold snap to hit Kingston, southeastern Ont.

Workers shovel snow off the roof of a Kingston Row home Monday (March 25, 2013). Tamara Forlanski / Global News

With the mercury expected to reach temperatures near -30 C in Kingston Friday, several local agencies have put out warnings to residents to protect their homes and pets from the extreme cold.

Kingston Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health has issued a cold weather warning to residents.

Very cold weather brings an increased risk of hypothermia for people who stay outside for long periods of time without adequate protection,” the health unit said in a news release.

“Overexposure to cold temperatures can result in severe injury. People at greatest risk from cold injuries include infants, the elderly, homeless, outdoor workers, recreation enthusiasts and people who consume excess alcohol.”

The city of Kingston is warning residents to keep an eye on their home pipes, which are susceptible to damage during cold weather.

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“Knowing what steps to take to protect your pipes from freezing can help you prevent the inconvenience and expense of plumbing problems,” said Heather Roberts, director of water and wastewater operations.

“When in doubt about the integrity of your internal plumbing pipes, consider calling a plumber as the problem could worsen.”

The city suggests locating your master shut-off valve at the water meter, and ensuring it is accessible and operating to know how to quickly turn off the water if a pipe bursts.

Meanwhile, the Ontario SPCA suggests several ways to keep your pets from harm during the upcoming cold snap.

“Canadian winters can be harsh and it’s up to us to protect our furry friends from the elements,” said Kristy White, interim manager, Ontario SPCA Lennox & Addington Animal Centre. “By taking simple steps, you can ensure your furry family member is safe and comfortable during the cold winter weather.”

They say some ways to keep your furry friends safe are to supervise their outdoor time, modify activities, leave pets at home, make sure paws are clean and clean up any car spills from oil, gas or anti-freeze.

The OSPCA also says it’s important to check for cats or other animals seeking warmth under the hood of a vehicle.

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“Knock on the hood of your car or sound the horn before starting the engine. Cats hiding under hoods can be injured or killed by the fan belt,” the OSPCA said in a news release.

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