(WSYR-TV) – With winter creeping into our forecast, it is crucial to keep the following safety tips in mind this season.

Although harsh winters are all too common around Central New York, locals tend to forget about the following safety tips.

1. Packing the wrong survival tools

Keep a quality ice scraper in your car all winter long to ensure that you’re prepared for whatever the weather throws at you.

ServiceMaster says that most people pack the wrong essentials in their cars in case of an emergency.

The essentials include rock salt to help melt ice on walkways, sand to improve traction, snow removal equipment like shovels, sufficient heating fuel, and adequate clothing/blankets.

Note: It is always important to be prepared for any possible winter outcome, such as running out of gas or being stuck in a snowstorm.

2. Using an electric generator indoors

Many appliances have an initial spike in power usage when first started. To avoid overloading your generator, start connected equipment one at a time.

Although this seems obvious, using generators indoors is reportedly the number one cause of death in winter.

According to cpsc.gov, between 2003-2014, around 808 people reportedly died due to the use of electric generators indoors.

ServiceMaster urges consumers to never use an electric generator indoors, inside the garage, or near their home’s air intake because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

3. Not making sure the emergency pantry is stocked

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During the winter, it is ALWAYS necessary to stock up on canned foods and other necessities in case of an emergency.

ServiceMaster says locals should keep at least a week’s worth of non-perishable food in their pantry.

4. Lack of water

Although this seems almost laughable, many people do not realize how crucial it is to have a water supply handy.

The extreme cold can cause pipes to freeze and break, leading to a lack of water.

5. Leaving pets and animals outdoors

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A common mistake made throughout the winter months includes furry friends being left outside in harsh temperatures.

Although you may love your pet, it can happen to anyone. You get busy making dinner or doing chores that you forget your pet is outside.

According to redcross.org, pets that are left outdoors can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured, or killed.

Redcross.org also urges that pets should not be left in cars during the winter as well. Cars can reportedly act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.

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