Hidden dangers of extreme cold weather

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - It is a busy time for area fire departments.  This cold snap has first responders issuing a number of warnings.  One of those warnings is to stay off ponds that appear frozen.  It seems each year someone falls through ice.  It doesn't take long for hypothermia to put a life at risk.

Area plumbers are also preparing for a busy week.  They hope homeowners will take precautions when it comes to keeping pipes from freezing.  If they do freeze, one area fire chief warns of a potential fire danger.

"I have been to so many fires where people use a blow torch to thaw their pipes," says Chief Ernie Rhodes, West County EMS & Fire Protection District.  "As they're thawing the pipe, the heat is conducted up the pipe and that starts a fire in the wall."

It isn't too cold for skiers, snowboarders and snow tubers at Hidden Valley.  They hit the slopes Monday night after the resort made more snow.

General Manager Bill Brandes says technology is catching up with the weather.  He was wearing heated gloves that were battery-powered.

"Enjoy your sport but think sensibly," said Brandes. "Dress accordingly and warm up once in a while."​

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