Benton County Emergency Services urges residents to take steps now to prepare for the cooling temperatures as winter arrives.
-- Check the heat in your house now, before the temperature drops below freezing. Turn on the furnace and make sure it is in good working order.
-- Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Fires increase as people turn on space heaters and use wood stoves.
-- Check to make sure garden hoses are disconnected from faucets outside your home.
-- Wrap pipes, especially those near cold outer walls or in attics or crawl spaces. Learn how to shut off water valves, in case a pipe bursts.
-- Get rock salt or sand for traction on ice.
-- Make sure your pets have adequate shelter.
-- When going outside, dress in several light layers, instead of one heavy one.
-- Wear appropriate footwear, a hat and mittens.
-- Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.