How to safely stay warm in frigid weather - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

How to safely stay warm in frigid weather

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Michael Kreiser has worked in worse weather, but the Shelby County Health Department knows not everyone has his experience. Michael Kreiser has worked in worse weather, but the Shelby County Health Department knows not everyone has his experience.
The Memphis Fire Department says when temperatures drop their fire calls go up. The Memphis Fire Department says when temperatures drop their fire calls go up.
Fires do not just start with space heaters they can start with burning candles, fire places, even electrical cords. Fires do not just start with space heaters they can start with burning candles, fire places, even electrical cords.
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(WMC-TV) - As the temperatures drop, people across the Mid-South prepare for the frigid weather.

"It's frigid with the wind," said Michael Kreiser with Ferrell Paving.

Road construction crews widening the Interstate 40-240 interchange knew how to bundle up Thursday so their work did not stop in extreme temperatures.

"If it's a 100 degrees or it's 10 degrees, we're usually out here," he said.

Michael Kreiser has worked in worse weather, but the Shelby County Health Department knows not everyone has his experience.

"Bundle up, cover all different parts of your body," said Dr. Helen Morrow with the health department.

Morrow says cold stress or hypothermia can come on gradually and cause you to feel disoriented and sleepy. Click here for more tips on cold weather tips.

"Dress in layers. You lose a great deal of heat through your head, so make sure you cover your nose and mouth so you're not breathing in the cold air," said Morrow.

The health department also says avoid overexertion outside in these temperatures. It can cause a heart attack, which is a major cause of death in the winter.

In addition, the Memphis Fire Department says when temperatures drop their fire calls go up. It includes fires started from space heaters, candles, fireplaces and gas stoves alike.

Jon Raiford is all too familiar with the dangers of trying to stay warm during the winter months. Just before the holidays, his family's home went up in flames; six people inside got out safely, but the fire destroyed everything.

"When they caught fire my smoke detector went off any my son alerted everybody, and we just got out of the house," he said. 

A smoke detector saved lives in this particular case.

Firefighters determined the fire started in the front room because of a space heater, but it was just one of a handful of fires in the last month started by space heaters.

Fires do not just start with space heaters they can start with burning candles, fire places, even electrical cords. Experts say before you go to bed make sure all heaters are at least three feet away from curtains, bedding, or anything that can catch fire.

And never leave a heater unattended. Another thing to keep in mind: Do not use your gas stove to heat the house as you will run the risk of getting carbon monoxide poisoning. If you plug in a space heater try to avoiding using extension cords; they can overheat and catch fire too.

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