Prepare home for winter

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COLUMBIA – As temperatures begin to cool, it is time for people to prepare their homes for winter. Boone County Assistant Fire Chief Gale Blomenkamp said it's important to take preventative measures.

“Make sure gutters are cleaned, unhook garden hoses from outside spigots so they do not freeze and break pipes,” Blomenkamp said. “Most of all, get your heating and air-conditioning checked by a professional and your chimney and flue checked too.”   

Blomenkamp said carbon monoxide is the “silent killer.” He said homeowners should check their detectors and make sure they work properly. He recommends replacing carbon monoxide detectors if they are more than seven years old.

The fire department said they don’t necessarily see more fires during the winter months, but instead they see fires happen from different causes. The holiday season brings on more cooking fires, especially when people are distracted with family and friends visiting.

Blomenkamp said alternative heating such as fire places or wood burning stoves can spark chimney and attic fires.

“We see some fires started from electric heaters because they are placed too close to combustibles,” Blomenkamp said.

Along with winterizing homes, Blomenkamp said people should also prepare for winter driving. He recommends checking your tires, windshield wipers and lights. It is also smart to increase your driving time in harsher weather conditions.