Cold Snap

By Jack King

With the temperatures dropping, some Clovis merchants and the Clovis Fire Department had tips for residents Sunday on how to protect their homes, yards and cars from the icy effects.
Clovis Fire Department Lt. J. D. Hileman said with furnaces and heaters going on inside, the department urges everyone to obtain carbon dioxide and smoke detectors. But the warning devices are no use if they are not working, he said.
“The rule is change the batteries when you change your clocks,” he said.
Many of the other tips the department offers are common sense, he said.
“Check the filters in your furnaces and make sure the furnace is clean and in good condition. If you heat with a wood stove, make sure there is plenty of clearance between the stove and the surrounding area. If you heat with a floor furnace, make sure nothing gets stacked on it,” he said.
“If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s clean and your chimney is in good condition. When you remove the ashes from your fireplace, make sure they’re dead out, even if they’re not glowing. One of the most common sources of dumpster fires in the winter is fireplace ash that wasn’t out when it was put there,” he said.
“The simple rule is any time you get combustibles near a heat source, you get a fire.”
Putting a good winter fertilizer down is the best advice for protecting lawns in the winter, said all three lawn and garden pros contacted Sunday.
Carlos Rivero, department manager at Lowe’s lawn and garden center; Zanna Abdill, a saleswoman at Wal-Mart’s lawn and garden center; and Alfred Sanchez, an assistant manager at Ace Hardware, agreed on this point, but each had other tips to add.
“Covering plants with burlap helps keep the frost off them and helps provide a little heat, as well,” said Rivero.
Abdill said that, besides winter fertilizer, a good mulch is also helpful. Sanchez suggested fans of green lawns remember something even more basic.
“A lot of times, people forget to water in the winter and their lawns dry out,” he said. “Of course, you don’t want to cover your plants in ice, but try to water at least once a week, temperatures permitting.”
Oscar Nunez, a salesman in Sears’ automotive center, said being sure you have enough antifreeze in your engine is the most important car care tip for the winter — 50 percent water and 50 percent antifreeze is the ideal proportion, he said.
He had one other suggestion:
“Make sure you have enough tread on your tires to be safe on snow and ice,” he said.Cold Snat