When you see a homeless person sleeping in the street or find yourself huddled beside a space heater in the bitter cold, here are a few things to keep in mind:
You can get help for the street person during a city- designated Code Blue by calling the city's outreach hot line at 215-232-1984.
Some homeless resist and police need a court order, designed to aid the mentally ill, to take them to shelters, according to a police official.
As for that space heater, the Fire Department provides these safety tips:
* Space heaters should be at least 3 feet from curtains, bedding, and furniture and not block walkways. They should be turned off at night and extra blankets used.
* Electric heaters should be plugged directly into the wall, or a proper capacity extension cord must be used.
* Leave a window slightly open, especially for kerosene heaters.
"The burning of any fossil fuel inside a closed environment will fill the area with carbon monoxide," a deadly colorless, odorless gas, said Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.
And remember, it is illegal in Philadelphia, and highly dangerous, to use propane heaters indoors.