Preparing for the cold

Winter is coming, but the weather outside make it seem like it's already here.

With cold and freezing temperatures here in Central Texas the American Red Cross is urging people to remember a couple things while trying to stay warm.

First keep your family warm and check on any elderly family or neighbors that may need extra blankets.

Don't forget your fury friends, dogs and cats get cold too. Bring your pets inside at night to keep them healthy and safe. For your plants; either cover them to keep them warm at night or bring them inside so they can flourish.

Make sure you also check the heater in your home especially if it's an older model.

“You know 14, 15 years of age, you want to get that thing checked every year you want to make sure it's not leaking carbon monoxide making sure your smoke detectors are still working just something,” said Roland Arrisola the department manager at Stan’s Heating and Cooling.

Arrisola said sometimes a potential danger isn't the furnace but what's next to it.

“There's a lot of houses that have a system in a closet and home owners like to use that space to store things you want to make sure that use have adequate clearing around that equipment to make sure that there's no flammable combustible objects around it that's going to cause a problem and you could be in danger,” said Arrisola.

If you plan on using a space heater this winter, the American Red Cross urges you to keep things like paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs at least three feet away as it could ignite them.

Another thing to note if you have a chimney, FEMA urges you to get it cleaned before you light up your fire place as there could be something in there blocking air flow like bird nests.

Chimney fires account for 75% of home heating fires.