Staying safe in the cold and snow
January 12, 2024

With extreme cold weather continuing into the weekend, the City would like to remind residents of the services and resources that can help everyone stay safe until the weather warms up. 

First Snowfall Event of 2024
City of Edmonton crews continue to clear Priority 1-3 roadways within five days of the Tuesday/Wednesday snow event and the Priority 2 active pathways within three days. Crews are active at all hours ensuring roadways and active pathways are safe for all Edmontonians. The Roadways Snow Clearing Map displays all active plows, including Plowy McPlowface, Buzz Iceclear and the rest of their friends. As clearing from the snow event continues, the map updates to display the cleaning status of roadways. 

Stay informed and be prepared for a parking ban by signing up for service notifications at Alerts will let you know when you need to move your vehicle for snow clearing in your area.

Edmonton Valley Zoo
Due to extreme weather, the Edmonton Valley Zoo will be temporarily closed January 12 - 14. The Edmonton Valley Zoo acknowledges that this closure may inconvenience visitors, but as an outdoor facility, the safety of guests is the priority.

Winter fire safety
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services encourages Edmontonians to keep fire safety top of mind during the winter months and especially during extreme weather conditions.

General winter fire safety
  • Never have a running vehicle inside a garage. Check the joints and open spaces around the door between the house and the garage. Are they tightly sealed? Any openings, no matter how small, can allow dangerous fumes, such as carbon monoxide or gasoline vapour, to enter the living area. Always remove vehicles from the garage right away after starting.
  • Ensure that your intake and exhaust vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplaces are clear of snow and other debris.
  • Remember to check your block heater and extension cords for fraying and cracking, and replace them using approved ULC and CSA-approved cords.

Home heating safety
  • Heating equipment needs space.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet (1 metre) away from heating equipment (such as space heaters, furnaces, fireplaces and wood stoves).
  • All fuel-burning equipment (such as wood-burning stoves) should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.

Frozen water pipes
  • Never try to thaw frozen pipes with a blowtorch or other open flame as the pipe could conduct the heat and ignite the wall structure.
  • Use hot water or a UL-labeled device such as a hand-held dryer for thawing.
  • Further information on preventing frozen pipes can be found on EPCOR’s website here.
  • If you see a water emergency, such as a burst water line or main break, please report Edmonton water outages to EPCOR’s 24/7 emergency line at 780-412-4500.
  • If flooding or an emergency occurs, please call 911 for help.

Safeguard pets from extreme cold 
During this cold snap, pet owners are encouraged to take extra precautions to ensure pets are secure inside, limit walks outside and be aware of signs your pet is getting cold. Be aware of your pet’s tolerance for cold weather and adjust accordingly. While pets are outside, look for signs such as: 
  • Lifting their feet high off the ground or licking their feet 
  • Slowing down or stopping often
  • Whining
  • Appearing anxious
  • Shivering 
  • Shaking
  • Tucking feet under their body
  • Curling up in a tight ball with their tail over them

Pets are vulnerable to frostbite; particularly the ears, paws, nose and tip of the tail. Frostbite is sometimes hard to detect. Frostbitten areas initially turn a reddish colour then gray or bluish. If you suspect your pet has frostbite, take them to their veterinarian for further care. 

Priority intake at the Animal Care and Control Centre (ACCC) is given to animals out in -20 celsius weather with the wind chill or pets that are ill, injured or in distress. Residents in this situation should call 311 to be connected with an ACCC Customer Service Advisor.
If you see an animal without proper food, water or shelter, or one that has been left alone for more than 24 hours, call 311. Call 911 if you see an animal that is in imminent danger or showing signs of serious distress. 

Reminder: How to help vulnerable Edmontonians
To help keep vulnerable Edmontonians safe during the cold, the City has activated its extreme weather response. The response includes additional bus routes (see below), support for overnight shelter and day services. More information is available at

Actions Edmontonians can take to help vulnerable individuals include:
  • Learn to recognize the signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, drowsiness or exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, or slurred speech; and a person with severe hypothermia may be unconscious and may not seem to have a pulse or to be breathing.
  • Call 911 for someone in serious distress or in cases of emergency.
  • Call 211, press 3 for 24/7 Crisis Diversion non-emergency support for shelter, intoxication and mental health.
  • Our quick reference tool has steps you can take to help someone during the winter months.
  • Agencies serving people experiencing homelessness are accepting monetary donations, as well as donations of warm clothing and winter gear. For additional information on agencies accepting donations, please see:

Reminder: Edmonton Transit Service
As part of the City’s extreme weather response, Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) is providing additional shuttle service between 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. to transport people experiencing homelessness to shelters with capacity to help people find a warm, safe place to go each night. Support staff are on each bus to help passengers access available emergency shelters and referrals to other services. More information about these bus routes is available at

Throughout the extreme weather response, ETS will also continue its practice of stopping at all bus stops, including most express routes, to pick up anyone waiting when the weather is -20 degrees Celsius and below with the wind chill.

Edmonton as a winter city
The City of Edmonton is proud to be a winter city. We encourage Edmontonians to dress appropriately for the cold weather, continue to look out for one another, connect with community for support and celebrate the best of being the northernmost city in North America with more than a million people.
Media contact:
Communications Advisor
Integrated Communications