Preparing for Oklahoma winter weather and ice storms

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OKLAHOMA (KFOR) — It’s easy for a cold front with freezing temperatures in October to catch you off-guard, but if that means you’re scrambling around to prepare, it’s important to do it safely.

Whether it’s a chimney or a furnace, the Oklahoma City Fire Department recommends having professionals check them out to make sure they are in proper working condition.

“We had a call this morning. One of our crews went out to check on a fireplace. Possible fire in the chimney. Again, get the professionals out there to clean your chimney,” Major Louie Marschik with the OKC Fire Department told KFOR News 4. “Make sure everything is clean, everything is operating properly, before you put any wood in there and start a fire.”

Space heaters are a popular choice to keep warm on cold days.

OKC Fire also says try not to have anything flammable within three feet of your space heater, and always plug them directly into an outlet instead of using an extension cord or power strip. Also do not leave them unattended.

Also, if your space heater is an older model, it may be time to get a new one.

“The technology is getting better. They now have tip over features, so when it tips over it will actually shut itself off,” Marschik said. “Or an overheat feature, so when somebody throws a blanket or coat on it and it gets to a certain temperature it will shut itself off.”

Icey storms can also lead to power outage, something tens of thousands of Oklahomans experienced on Monday.

So, it’s important to make sure you generators are ready to roll after spending all summer in the garage.

“If you’ve had a generator for quite a while and haven’t had it run you might want to bring it to a reputable service shop. So they can get it fired up, make sure there’s not ethanol in the carburetor and stuff like that. Then give it a good overall testing to make sure it’s safe. Don’t run it in doors.”

It’s best to leave your generator outside one flat concrete, away from anything flammable.

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