Important tips to remember as cold weather approaches

As we fall into the later months, so do the temperatures.

That means it’s time to start making sure your belongings are ready for the cold.

“I wouldn’t take your antique vehicle out in the cold weather,” President of Don’s Towing and Repair Don Stoeckly said.

He makes sure his vehicle is ready to go when the cold weather hits.

“I get my oil changed, check my coolent and the radiator, check my battery,” Stoeckly said.

And sometimes you can’t do anything about unexpected flat tires.

“Usually you’re not going to be able to get to work on time, not get home,” Stoeckly said.

But if there is a problem with your car, Stoeckly says to not panic.

“Be patient with the tow truck driver. There’s a lot more service calls for them,” Stoeckly said.

Your vehicle isn’t the only belonging you should be keeping track of.

Having your furnace properly serviced by a technician is strongly recommended.

“Malfunctions mostly happen just because they’re not serviced properly,” La Crosse Fire Department Captain Lance Tryssestad said. “There’s preventative maintenance that should be done on them. Cleaning is a big thing.”

As for those space heaters, Tryggestad says to use them at your own risk, and preferably give them a three foot space to operate.

“They’re not truly meant to heat your whole house obviously,” Tryggestad said. “But they do have their purpose. Making sure that you buy one tested, UL tested.”

But never, ever plug them in to a power strip or extension cord.

“They’re not meant to carry that much load,” Tryggestad said. “And space heaters do have a lot of draw on them, so they can overheat quite easily with extension cords. Portable space heaters cause four out of five fire deaths in the country.”

And as you prepare for the cold weather, Stoeckly says it’s a safer bet to get everything ready to go ahead of time.

“Don’t wait too long because it’ll stink up on you,” Stoeckly said.

Get your weather forecast from people that actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.