Ready or Not Here Comes the Cold

Reported By: Lee Peck

Ready or not here comes the cold weather... "It's so cold, I have to wear my gloves," said Blane Carlin.

Bundled up the kids are ready to play in the cold weather, but are your pipes, plants and pets ready for the cold snap?

"A lot of the animals that are here aren't used to the biting cold," said Calcasieu Animal Services Director David Marcantel.

Marcantel says pets are at risk during cooler temperatures and urges pet owners to not leave them out in the cold.  "We suggest that if you have an outside pet, either bring it in to the wash shed for the evening or to put hay in their doghouse so they can get warmer or some old blankets you are not using anymore," said Marcantel.

With the pets protected, it's time to move on and make sure you cover your plants.

"Best thing to use that's better than plastic is a cloth that breathes. That way you don't have to rush out and take it off before the next morning before the sun gets them," says Nathan Dondis, owner of Greengate Garden Center.

Dondis says while it may be a hassle it will definitely be worth it come Spring. "They would just start out much bigger in the Spring, you would get flowers quicker," said Dondis.

You'll need to protect your pipes too. Wrapping them ensures they are properly insulated from the freeze. And just to be safe you may want to let your faucets drip.

Last but certainly not least, you'll want to keep warm. While some have the luxury of fires and central heat, others make due without. Lake Charles Fire Inspector Jeremy LeBlanc says that could be a deadly decision.

"A lot of times people find alternative ways to heat their homes, such as an oven range which really is not a good idea to do that because it lets out carbon monoxide into the home," said LeBlanc.

Tasteless and odorless carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer, killing more than 300 people per year. "If you can afford it, I recommend buying a good carbon monoxide detector that gives you a very good reading," said LeBlanc. "There are several out on the market, but you get what you pay for. The more expensive the detector, usually the more sensitive the reading."

LeBlanc says if you already have a carbon monoxide detector it's probably a good time to check the batteries.