Wichitans prepare for dangerously cold weekend
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Temperatures this weekend across KAKEland are dangerously low. That's why Wichitans are flocking to Indian Hills Ace Hardware in northwest Wichita, buying items to keep their homes warm the next few days.
As soon as the doors opened at the store Friday morning there was a steady steam of people coming in. Most with the same goal. To get items that will help them stay warm in these frigid temperatures.
"They're coming in and buying space heaters to keep their lines from bursting," says the store's general manager Brian Gramlich.
He explains it's a popular item because it helps keep a space warm without having to increase natural gas, which costs more money.
Friday morning the shelves of space heaters was fully stocked but as the day went on the supply has been dropping. People have been coming in and buying them. Some even left with carts filled with multiple heaters.
People aren't only buying them to heat their own homes but property they manage as well. One woman tells KAKE she was looking for eleven space heaters because she has multiple units to heat and she doesn't want any pipes to burst. Gramlich says this is common and something a lot of apartment owners are doing.
"A lot of apartment complexes are using space heaters. Obviously it lowers the propane or the natural gas appeal to keep extra warmth in the house because it costs more money to use natural gas," he said.
Space heaters can be useful in heating a home but you need to be careful.
"Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fires in this country," said Shelly Webb, the regional disaster officer for the Red Cross Kansas and Oklahoma region.
Here's some tips from the Red Cross on how to use heating equipment safely and what to look out for.
- If you must use a space heater, never leave it unattended. Place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic tile floor. Don’t place it on rugs and carpets, or near bedding and drapes.
- Plug space heater power cords directly into outlets, never into an extension cord. Turn the space heater off every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Keep children, pets and anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment.
While space heaters are great they do nothing if there's a power outage. The Red Cross says you should gather extra warm clothes and blankets to have on hand in case this happens. It also helps to have everyone gather in the same room to help conserve body heat.
Evergy also has tips on how to prepare for a possible power outage. It says to fill your car up with gas beforehand, make sure your phone is charged, and make an emergency kit with items like flashlights, food, water, and a first aid kit. For more tips click here.