It looks like Winter 2015 is starting to resemble last winter with fluctuating temperatures and colder weather in the forecast.

As you are preparing for the cold weather ahead for us this week, here are a few things to remember.

First, check your pipes. Make sure they are not exposed to the freezing temperatures. If you can wrap them, go ahead and do so. The extra insulation will protect them. If you have water pipes in your attic, make sure the attic is also properly insulated. If your pipes run under your house, make sure any vents are closed. Make sure to take off any yard hoses connected to outdoor facets. If you are fearful of frozen water lines, you can keep a slow drip in one of your sinks. This will keep water moving thru the pipes and reducing the chance of freezing. If your hot water heater is in the attic, it would be a good idea to keep the hot water dripping as well.

Second, make sure your chimneys have been cleaned before lighting a fire. Also, make sure the chimney flue is opened to prevent puff backs in your home. If you use portable heaters to supplement your heat in the house, be sure to keep it away from flammable objects.

Finally, dress warmly and check on elderly relatives and neighbors.

Stay safe and warm this week!