10 ways to cold weather proof your life

1.    Don't let a frosty windshield make you late to work. Try dousing your windshield with cold water instead of pulling out that old scraper. You will be on your way a lot faster-- just don't use hot water, or you can add a cracked windshield to your list of cold-weather woes.

2.    Keep your pipes happy. To prevent your pipes from freezing overnight, let water trickle from the highest faucet in your house. The water should be about the size of the tip of a pen. Open the cabinet doors under your kitchen and bathroom sinks to let warm air in. Make sure you remove poisonous cleaners if you have children.

3.    Use your ceiling fan in a new way. Set your fan on a low setting in a clockwise direction to bring warm air down into the room.

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4.    Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and accidental fire. Do not use a generator, grill or any other outdoor propane, gasoline or charcoal-burning devices inside your house. About 430 people die in the United States every year from carbon monoxide poisoning. About 20,000 people visit emergency rooms for carbon monoxide concerns, as well. Never resort to heating your home with your stove-- you can set fire to your home.

5.    Keep cold air out. Cut a pool noodle in half to open it up. Then wrap it in fabric, and put it under the door to keep out the draft.

6.    Pets must cope with cold too. Think about buying a high-collared sweater for short-haired dogs that covers the animal from tail to belly. Make sure to dry your pet completely after a bath before heading on a walk.

7.    Don't leave your pets in the car. A car traps the cold air and can cause the pet to die.

8.    Keep tabs on your gas tank. Your gas tank should be at least half full in the winter. This will guard against a fuel-line freeze.

9.    Use space heaters the smart way. Keep the heater 3 feet from anything that might catch fire. Make sure you put it on a hard, even surface.

10.    Watch out for outdoor pets. Some cats like to sleep under the hoods of cars to stay warm and can be seriously injured when you start your car. If your neighbors have outdoor cats, consider hitting the hood of your car before you crank it.