Preparing your home for the cold
BATON ROUGE - People in the Baton Rouge area got their first taste of cold weather this morning with temperatures dropping into the 30's. There are ways you can protect your self and your home this winter.
We visited St. Vincent de Paul on 2une In, where they're looking for people to donate blankets, jackets and food. You can more about their assistance on their website.
"We served 240,000 meals last year, but St. Vincent de Paul is much more than food," Michael Alcado explains. "We also provide shelter to 1,200 homeless men, women and children every year. The next couple of nights, we'll likely be filled to capacity."
News Two's Rebecca Buchanan also spoke with State Fire Marshal Butch Browning about safe ways to keep warm. He says space heaters are the #1 cause of fire during the winter months.
"If you use space heater, you need to make sure you maintain a 3 ft. area around them," Browning cautions. "Make sure there's no combustible materials around it like chairs, clothing or anything else that could burn."
People are also going to be firing up the stove to cook meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas. More fires are caused by unattended cooking each year than any other reason.
"Never leave a stove unattended, and be cautious with children in the kitchen," Browning warns. "A lot of burns and scalds occur because pots are knocked over."
Browning also says appliance maintenance is important. Grease fires can occur because stoves and ovens aren't properly cleaned."
We also spoke to Michael Davidson from Home Depot. He had some tips to winterize your home:
1) Protect your pipes using a faucet cover, some type of pipe insulation and some duct tape. If you live in a raised home, you should invest a thicker insulation because your pipes are more exposed.
2) Before you fire up the fireplace, make sure your chimney is cleaned from the year before.
3) If you have outdoor plants, a good watering 12 hours before a freeze can actually help protect them.
4) Know where and when you plan to use a space heater before your buy it. There are plenty with automatic shutoffs that can help decrease the risk of fire.
5) Make sure your smoke detectors are working.
Click on the video links for more safety tips.