NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Heating devices not running now, soon will be. Firefighters like heaters checked by professionals, but there are some simple safety measures you can do you yourself.
"Space heaters or electric heaters, part of that wording is space," Robert Ford, Nacogdoches Fire Department safety officer reminded. "Make sure they have space around them. Make sure they're not near furniture or drapery. Preferably about 3 foot away. Make sure you turn them off at night or if you go to leave during the day."
While you're checking the heater, also test those fire alarm batteries.
Now turn your attention to the outside. People routinely cover up their plants, but often forget about the pipes. "If you're not insulated, use an insulation material," Donald Ellis suggested. Ellis demonstrated with a long length of insulation, similar to a swimming noodle kids use in the pool. "It comes a part and wraps around the pipe and sticks together. That will help it from freezing, especially if the pipes are in the attic. In this area, a lot of water heaters are in the attic," Ellis said.
People on the go will definitely want to check under the hood. It can help prevent cold weather breakdowns. "You want to check and make sure your antifreeze is good for cold weather," advised Shane Eddings with Rex Perry Autoplex. "Make sure it's not going to freeze and cause damage to the vehicle."
The tires are most important. Pressure changes in extreme temperatures, hot or cold. "In cold weather the pressure will go down. Like with hot weather, the pressure will go up. Most cars when you drive them the tires get warmer and the pressure goes up anyway, but the cold weather can adversely affect that," Eddings said.
Cold weather preparation can help you avoid breakdowns, broken pipes, and fires.