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Experts Offer Tips On Protecting Your Vehicle, Home From Cold Weather Dangers

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- If you park outside, you may be nervous about your car starting on these cold mornings.

At AAA, they say it often comes to down to your battery, and going out in the middle of the night to start up the car won't help in the morning.

Steve Popovich, of AAA East Central, says it's hard on your battery each time you start your car in this weather.

"You don't want to just start it once and then leave it run for a few minutes, and then turn it off and start it again later," said Popovich.

Tim Dietz from Troubleshooters Auto Repair suggests running a cord and putting a cage or shop light under your hood overnight.

"It has a cage built over the bulb to protect it from melting things," said Dietz. "Put it under the hood, close the hood, throw a blanket on it."

But AAA recommends against putting a light or anything under the hood because people forget it's there.

"A light could generate some heat there under the hood, but we really get a lot of emergency road calls where these types of things get wrapped up in the fan blade," said Popovich.

When it comes to space heaters, many now have safety features such as turning off if one tips over. However, Deputy Fire Chief Dan Hennessey of the Pittsburgh Fire Department says don't think that makes them safe to leave on overnight.

"Turn the space heater off before you leave the house and before you go to bed," said Dep. Chief Hennessey. "It's too risky. Statistics show these items do cause fires."

He also says to keep clothes and other items at least three feet away from heaters.

And one more thing: "Don't plug your space heater into another outlet with other appliances running off of that. There's a possibility the cord could actually get hot enough to cause an ignition."

If you have pipes on an outside wall, you want to guard against them freezing. Experts says leave a trickle of both hot and cold water overnight and also leave cabinet doors under sinks open to allow the heat in.

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