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Keeping yourself, car, and home warm safely

Updated:
The blast of cold weather has Tulsa Fire officials concerned. They say they'll see more home fires now, than any other time of the year.

That concern took them to the same north Tulsa neighborhood where three people died New Years Day. 33-year-old Pam Starks, her 9-year-old son Dustin and 9-year-old nephew Roderick died when they were trapped in their burning home. Investigators say an old dry Christmas tree caught fire when it got too close to open flame heater.

Crews are going door-to-door in an effort to prevent another deadly accident. Tulsa Fire Captain Hubert Rouse says, "Our fires begin to increase when the cold weather begins to hit. Any time there's an open flame, whether it’s your stove any place like that, there are always more hazards created."

Firefighters handed residents free smoke detectors and did some inspections. They also handed out information about planning an escape route should fire spark in the home. Fire officials say if you're concerned about the safety of your home, call your local fire station to schedule a home inspection.

Speaking of the cold weather, it's hard on cars. If you haven't winterized your car to handle below freezing temperatures it might be too late. Rick Bickford with AAA says it's best to prepare your car months in advance. "Plan ahead, if you can get your car ready to go before the last minute like we are right now, you'll be much better off, stress-wise and comfort-wise." AAA reminds us it's a good idea to start the car about 10-minutes before you leave. And make sure you have an extra set of keys so you can lock it as it warms up.

And you can save yourself big bucks in the long run by getting your home's water pipes ready for the cold temperatures. The experts say leave the water dripping in faucets, especially ones where the pipes run along exterior walls.

And don't forget your neighbors, especially the elderly. You might drop by for a quick visit just to make sure they're doing 'ok'.
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