Ben Katko reports on issues cold temps bring - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Threats and concerns in extreme cold weather

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Capt. Steve Conn of the Colerain Fire Department says people should not resort to unorthodox methods of heating their homes Capt. Steve Conn of the Colerain Fire Department says people should not resort to unorthodox methods of heating their homes

Making sure you stay warm, inside and outside, is key in this bitter cold weather for the next few days.  

"Layers.  Layers are really important," said Bill Dillaha, general manager at Bass Pro Shops in Forest Park.

And that's what the crowds were looking for on Sunday.

"The last couple of days it's been extremely wild and woolly obviously with cold weather gear, hats, coats," said Dillaha.

That's just the demand for people trying to stay warm outside.  Obviously, you want to keep your home toasty in this weather, as well.  But, there is a right and wrong way to do it.

"When we do get cold snaps like this, we do unfortunately see people resort to unorthodox methods for heating the house," said Capt. Steve Conn of the Colerain Fire Department.

One example: using a certain kitchen appliance exactly how it shouldn't be used.

"Maybe using the oven to heat up an apartment or to heat up a certain area of the house," said Conn.

Fire fighters street what all-too-often becomes a problem: using space heaters, and making sure you do so with caution.  Make sure they're powered with an extension cord that can handle the power they need.

"If you're using some type of alternative heating, make sure you're following the manufacturer's recommendations," Conn told FOX19.

When it comes to running your central heating unit, you might be inclined to crank it up to battle the temps outside.  That actually could end up working against you, and leaving you in the cold.

"If everyone does it, cranks it up, then we end up running the risk of having different areas of the power grid fail.  Obviously, we don't want that," Conn said.

To avoid that, first responders suggest leaving your heater around 68 degrees, and putting on extra clothes if you're a bit chilly.  If you do try to fight the cold outside with your heater inside and lost power, the pipes in your home could end up frozen.

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